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Evidencing the harms of hate speech

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The ways in which targeted communities experience hate speech is an important, but often neglected, component of the debate over the legitimacy of hate speech laws. This article reports on data drawn from interviews conducted with 101 members of Indigenous and minority ethnic communities in Australia regarding their experiences of hate speech. We give voice to targets’ experiences of face-to-face and more widely broadcast hate speech, and outline the constitutive and consequential harms they claim to have suffered. We assess these against the alleged harms of hate speech in the literature, finding a close correlation between targets’ reports and the literature.
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Keywords: Australia; Hate speech; ethnicity; free speech; harm; racism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld, Australia 2: School of Law, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Publication date: May 3, 2016

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