Contributions by ‘Katharine Gelber’

Hate Speech—Definitions & Empirical Evidence

As a political scientist who has spent 20 years investigating, analyzing, and reporting on the introduction, implementation, and effects of hate speech laws, I wish to focus in my commentary on the empirical assumptions and claims that inform Weinstein’s argument. I will focus on three. The first is his failure to conceptualize hate speech in a way that is commensurate with much of the philosophical literature focussing on definitions of hate speech. The second is his apparent reluctance to concede that hate speech (in both vituperative and more modest forms) is capable of harming political participation to the degree he would require, or in the ways he would require, in order for hate speech laws to be justifiable in political legitimacy terms. The third are his empirical claims about the operation of hate speech laws in practice.

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