Speaking Back

The free speech versus hate speech debate

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This book proposes an original policy framework for addressing hate speech. Gelber argues that a policy designed to provide support to affected groups and communities to enable them to speak back when hate speech occurs, is a more useful way of addressing the harms of hate speech than punitive measures. She suggests that “speaking back” allows the affected groups to contradict the messages contained in the words of the hate speakers, and to counteract the silencing, disempowering and marginalising effects of hate speech. Gelber’s argument uniquely synthesises the ideas of defending the importance of participating in speech, recognising the harms of hate speech and acknowledging that targeted groups may require assistance to respond.

Subjects: Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; English linguistics; Germanic linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales

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