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New paper explores regulating online hate speech

Online hate speech is explored in a new paper published by Senior Lecturer in Public Law Dr Carlo Pedrioli.

Featured in French Law publication the International Journal of Digital & Data Law 259, the paper is entitled Regulating Online Hate Speech: A U.S. Perspective.

Outlining the contents of the paper, the abstract states: “In the early 2010s, Terry Jones of Florida became known for his threats to burn, and for eventually burning, the Koran, the holy book of Muslims. The actions and message of the pastor eventually attracted the attention of figures as prominent as U.S. President Barack Obama and, with transmission around the world via the Internet, spread to countries far from the United States like Afghanistan and Indonesia. The response was explosive.

“The burning of sacred texts such as the Koran provides particularly rich opportunities for study by academics in a variety of fields. Topics like religion, politics, marginalization, nonverbal communication, intercultural communication, and hate speech come together. Digital dissemination adds an element of contemporary technology to the mix.

“Drawing upon the Florida Koran-burning case, this paper briefly examines the constitutional regulation of online hate speech in the United States, illustrating how limited the punishment and thus regulation of such hate speech generally are. Hate speech is discourse that aims to promote hatred based on categories such as ethnicity, race, national origin, class, and similar categories. The paper proceeds with a summary of the Florida Koran-burning case, continues with a discussion of relevant constitutional principles, and then moves to constitutional analyses of the Florida case.”

You can read the paper in full via the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Published on 02/06/2020