Towards a Definition of Hate Speech: With a Focus on Online Contexts

Mika Hietanen, Johan Eddebo

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


As legislators and platforms tackle the challenge of suppressing hate speech online, questions about its definition remain unresolved. In this review we discuss three issues: What are the main challenges encountered when defining hate speech? What alternatives are there for the definition of hate speech? What is the relationship between the nature and scope of the definition and its operationability? By tracing both efforts to regulate and to define hate speech in legal, paralegal, and tech platform contexts, we arrive at four possible modes of definition: teleological,pure consequentialist, formal, and consensus or relativist definitions. We suggest the need for a definition where hate speech encompasses those speech acts that tend towards certain ethically proscribed ends, which are destructive in terms of their consequences, and express certain ideas that are transgressions of specific ethical norms.
Sidor (från-till)440-458
Antal sidor19
TidskriftJournal of communication Inquiry
StatusPublished - 2023 aug. 20

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Etik
  • Medievetenskap


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