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How hate speech can harm your brain

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By John Lloyd

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Indeed, all the people who hate gun owners, God-fearing Christians and Donald Trump have been hurting my brain lately with all their negative rhetoric

I can hate guns and what they do to people. I had the view that owning weapons that can kill do easily is a special inalienable right. I certainly do not hate Christians - if living in fear of Him makes you happy, knock yourself out. And as for Donald Trump - well, I feel a mixture of pity and fear.

too bad the author didn't actually comment in the real perpetrators of hate speech. it is the, Left wing, the Democrat party side of America which is filled with hate, derision and vitriol with the occasional riot filled with property damage and assault when their hate speech is too deep

Of the terrorist acts that took place on American soil this year, the right-winger driving his car into a bunch of liberals in Charlottesville should not be forgotten. The liberals were protesting against the very real hate speech of the far right, who were particularly exercised by the Jews - a common obsession of small-minded racists.

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When a political party relies on slogans such as "you should be afraid of these people!", and "it is reasonable to hate these people!" then that political party itself is what needs to be feared, and maybe even hated.

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Thank you, Burning Bush and Todd Topoiski, for demonstrating the truth of this article.

At the end of the day, people who make their money as online information providers need to learn the same thing publishers in every other medium have learned over the years: police what you publish, or someone will police it for you. That's why we have content ratings for movies, TV, and video games, why graphically violent comic books aren't sold in supermarkets - every time publishers drop the ball, the more egregiously they drop it, the more likely a state will step in and try to fix it for them.

Websites are just the latest step in this progression, and people who make social networking sites where users can interact are just as much responsible for the content they allow those users to publicly host on their equipment and broadcast with their bandwidth. Site owners need to get off their asses and do some meaningful moderation before they ruin the Internet for all of us.

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JimizoToday  03:36 pm JST

I think we are looking at the idea of 'qualified' differently. I'm asking who has the moral authority to decide what kind of speech is harmful.

I'm saying to sidestep this question the same way movie studios, tv studios, comic book publishers, and game publishers have been successfully resolving this issue themselves: culling the outright egregious content they might be inclined to publish and warning consumers before their product is used. When publishers self-regulate their trade responsibly, most liberal democracies are comfortable not trying to do it for them.

You and I have posted very critical things of Trump and his supporters. No doubt some people would regard this kind of speech as inflammatory, divisive and even hateful. You also listed 'religious groups' as a group deserving of some kind of protection. I'm very critical of the ideas of all religions but you seem to think this is unacceptable. Why is it acceptable to be as vituperative as you and I have been about the ideas of Trump and his supporters but not about the ideas of the religious? Both are opinions.

And you and I both know two things being opinions does not in and of themselves make both speeches equally of value or worthy of legal protection. Even with freedom of speech, the opinion "chocolate is delicious" and "I think someone in this crowd aught to murder Bob Willis of 632 Evergreen Lane..." are not going to be seen equally by any state or moral public figure - one is protected speech, one is an illegal incitement to violence.

The difference between criticism of Trump and criticism of an entire religion is the former attacks people for the choices they've made, the latter attacks people for circumstances that are largely the product of their birth and culture.

Now if you wanted to criticize a follower of a religion for an immoral act they committed, even an immoral act they committed and justified with their religious beliefs, I would have no problem with that and have never criticized anyone for doing so. It is only when someone attacks an entire class of people for their identity that I complain.

You are not qualified to draw the boundaries.

When I pay for the server and the bandwidth used to publish the speech, I'm totally qualified to draw the boundaries.

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Site owners need to get off their asses and do some meaningful moderation before they ruin the Internet for all of us.

"Meaningful moderation"?

Who do you think is qualified to decide what can or cannot be allowed? Could you give examples of the kind of speech you'd zap?

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JimizoToday  11:37 am JST

"Meaningful moderation"?

Who do you think is qualified to decide what can or cannot be allowed?

For a start, the people who pay for the platform that provides the server space to store the speech and the people who pay for the bandwidth to transmit the speech from the server should be qualified, but at the moment they tend to be more interested in making money in a free-for-all environment than providing healthy, non-self-destructive communities.

Could you give examples of the kind of speech you'd zap?

Known, flagrant attempts at deception, attacks on ethnic groups, religious groups, and sexual minorities would be a good place to start. Unfortunately, most web moderators misprioritize their censorship towards direct but not hateful comments while ignoring mildly-phrased hatred. They're more interested in stopping fights than stopping harm. To most web moderators, it's totally fine to insult an entire people if you don't do it to those people's faces.

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JimizoToday  06:37 pm JST

I was brought up by far-left parents in a red-hot Labour area of the UK and that shaped my politics. Many people brought up in deep blue states in the US have their politics shaped by that. 

By definition, in any real democracy you are guaranteed an encounter with the option of different political viewpoints. That's literally the entire point of democracy.

Countries which don't allow freedom of religion deserve criticism. 

Countries are not people. Countries that don't allow freedom of religion aren't the religion they mandate.

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I notice there is no talk of Antifa's hate speech.

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Indeed, all the people who hate gun owners, God-fearing Christians and Donald Trump have been hurting my brain lately with all their negative rhetoric.

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too bad the author didn't actually comment in the real perpetrators of hate speech. it is the, Left wing, the Democrat party side of America which is filled with hate, derision and vitriol with the occasional riot filled with property damage and assault when their hate speech is too deep

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

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