Acting against hate speech – more important every day!

Does it just seem that hate tirades accumulate on the net and in daily interaction? The last few months have shown that hate speech has obviously arrived much deeper than expected in our societies. The most recent example from Germany: The German politician Renate Künast takes legal action against hate speech on the net. A German court judges that this is a “permissible expression of opinion” and “dispute on the matter”*. The justification reads absurd and is no less sexist than the statements themselves (they are expressly not reproduced here).

That means: backing for the perpetrators and expression of the fact that the linguistic brutalization has arrived quite obviously as acceptable in the social vocabulary. Can it be that the repetition of hateful words and idioms has at some point arrived as a “linguistic normal case”? Obviously, yes.

The sexist component is an additional aspect, and it seems significant. For example, the German Women Lawyers’ Association points out that hatred and violence on the Net have a gender-specific dimension*. This includes, among other things, that women are devalued as women.

We will also address this aspect at the upcoming meeting of our “Arguments Against Aggression” project. On October 30-31, 2019, at our project partner GUnet in Athens, we will further develop our training modules against hate speech and we will try to finalize the content. The case of the German politician Künast is a special incentive.

The court’s verdict has created a wave of indignation. Meanwhile, criminal charges have been filed against the judging judges. An appeal has been lodged against the verdict. An initiative called HateAid has been founded, which offers special support to women. That’s good!

*in German

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