Hate Speech

by Alex Williams

Hate Speech

What is hate speech? In the USA, it does not exist - the First Amendment to the constitiution would strike down any such restriction on freedom of speech. You can say what you like, however offensive.

However, here in the UK, where freedom of speech was (arguably) invented - you had better watch your words. Say something nasty about someone's race or religion and you could be well be prosecuted, if the police think you have committed a criminal offence. Nasty foreigners, who have views we don't agree with, regularly have their visas denied.

Personally, I'm with Voltaire, who famously declared: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Maybe freedom of speech was better preserved in the 18th century.



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