Hate Speech

Author Talk: Hate Speech by Caitlin Ring Carlson

MIT Press Live! presents an author talk with Caitlin Ring Carlson, author of Hate Speech

About the book

Hate Speech

Hate speech can happen anywhere—in Charlottesville, Virginia, where young men in khakis shouted, “Jews will not replace us”; in Myanmar, where the military used Facebook to target the Muslim Rohingya; in Capetown, South Africa, where a pastor called on ISIS to rid South Africa of the “homosexual curse.” In person or online, people wield language to attack others for their race, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or other aspects of identity. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series examines hate speech: what it is, and is not; its history; and efforts to address it.

Author Caitlin Ring Carlson, an expert in communication and mass media, defines hate speech as any expression—spoken words, images, or symbols—that seeks to malign people for their immutable characteristics. Hate speech is not synonymous with offensive speech—saying that you do not like someone does not constitute hate speech—or hate crimes, which are criminal acts motivated by prejudice. Hate speech traumatizes victims and degrades societies that condone it. Carlson investigates legal approaches taken by the EU, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and the United States, with a detailed discussion of how the U.S. addresses, and in most cases, allows, hate speech. She explores recent hate speech controversies, and suggests ways that governments, colleges, media organizations, and other organizations can limit the spread of hate speech.

About the author

Caitlin Ring Carlson is Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Seattle University. Her research focuses on media law, policy, and ethics from a feminist perspective. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street JournalWired, and Venture Beat, as well as such leading academic publications as the Journal of Media Law and Ethics.

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