(L-r) Event host John York, Ph.D., a policy analyst at Heritage’s Simon Center; Paul Coleman, executive director of the Alliance Defending Freedom; Klon Kitchen, Heritage senior research fellow focusing on technology; and Arthur Milikh, associate director of Heritage’s Simon Center, gather for a panel discussion entitled “Will We Ban ‘Hate Speech’? Lessons from Europe and the Threat of Big Tech.”

The demand to outlaw so-called “hate speech” continues to grow in America. Too few citizens, however, understand the radical theory behind “hate speech” criminalization, how our nation will change should it be banned, and the tech world’s involvement in ushering in a future where speech is policed.

On Friday, June 21, Heritage hosted a panel discussion featuring Klon Kitchen, our senior research fellow  focusing on technology; Arthur Milikh, associate director of Heritage’s Simon Center; and Paul Coleman, executive director of the Alliance Defending Freedom. Coleman is the author of “Censored: Why European Laws are a Threat to Free Speech.”

In Europe, where “hate speech” is actively criminalized, we see that governments persecute politicians, priests, political commentators, and private citizens – whose speech they can characterize with ever-widening definitions of “hate” – with censorship, fines, arrests, investigations, and prosecutions. These actions are having their desired effect: People who disagree with government positions are becoming rightfully fearful of expressing those views freely. In America, the tech world is working hard to ensure that our nation looks more like Europe. Should “hate speech” be banned in America, it is the tech world that will help bring forth this revolution.

Watch the full event here.

What should Heritage do to stand against corporate censorship as companies define the limits of free speech?

Comments (18)

Thomas Rich - June 21, 2019

No one should define hate speech. It is like beauty ” it’s in the eye of the holder”..I am convinced that within the next 50 years supporters of abortion will be treated like segregationist of 50 years ago

Rick S Hendrix - June 21, 2019

Your work should begin with public schools.
This is the weakest area. You must teach children to be respectful and viligant. They must know the Constitution at an early age. Forgive my poor attempt at writing. But I do know my country and the freedom the founders tried to build for all generations.plus let us not forget GOD.

Jeff Traylor - June 21, 2019

Get the word out that it is censorship and cannot be tolerated in a free democratic society. It will lead to a “1984” society. Free speech and a free press are pillars of freedom!

William Coates - June 21, 2019

Spread the word about alternative platforms such as Allsocial and Thinkspot.

drake - June 21, 2019

If Big Brother gets to determine what constitutes “Hate Speech” there will be serious backlash. The pendulum has got to start swinging Right soon.

James Slaughter - June 21, 2019

In 2008 we learned about big financial companies that had become “too big to fail”. If these companies failed, our entire economy could fail we were told. By 2018 we were learning about big tech companies that are becoming “too big to control”. The power of these companies is derived from the massive data banks containing all the private and personal information of everyone in the country, including our elected members of Congress, in their possession. These big tech companies’ control of information and unlimited amounts of money will soon make them impossible to control. They will impose, starting with allowed speech, their view of social order on everyone.Congress must act soon to apply anti-trust laws to preserve competitive market forces to a prevent total concentration of power.

Dee Hodges - June 21, 2019

Getting Americans to accept “Hate Speech” limits and all sorts of PC is all about tolerating the unacceptable. It is a workaround the 1st Amendment. We learn to accept one thing many do not think is really acceptable, then the next thing is every more unacceptable. These dangerous precedents could lead to total dictatorship if Americans don’t learn to band together against such step by step impediments to freedom.

Michael Senckowski - June 21, 2019

It is essential that an easy, accessible path of acquiring knowledge of the fundamental principles of our Constitution are made available to the common citizen. These principles should be organized into a three stage learning route; Beginner (for the common working man/woman who has no or little college education), Intermediate (for the college graduate) and Advanced (for the holder of a Masters degree or PHD). This categorization is based upon the classical Trivium method of learning (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric). Then, these principles must be explained through the present issues that we face. We should proceed, issue by issue, providing resources for the public according to this method. These flash cards or PDFs should be peppered with audio files and a further reading list. We must uplift the ignorant by providing a path to learn, join our community and become educated citizens and activists. The left claim that they are ‘Social Justice Warriors’ so we need to be true Patriots and Constitutional activists. We need a well thought out plan to bring these principles and issues to the minority and immigrant communities. Education is the first step.

Thank you

Warren Pugh - June 21, 2019

It is already done. The Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR are ‘protected’ as they are in
much of Europe. However Dee Hodges is correct.

Robert J, Mueller - June 22, 2019

Our founding documents protect ALL speech!

Ginger Tankersley - June 22, 2019

I agree with the commentator i heard define the terms of free speech as outlined in the first Amendment, one cannot threaten false alarm, one cannot incite actual violence. (Paraphrased)
As we know the definition shifts and changes in social media platforms or isn’t defined at all. I’m grateful that in response to conservatives being censored, new speech cites are opening. Ive joined Parler. I understand Jordan Peterson us launching ThinkSpot. In the meantime lets expose the biased free speech crushing big tech and academias censorship via news and, as long as possible, social media outlets.

GEORGE FROMME - June 22, 2019


catherine simicich - June 22, 2019

When you join all of Facebook and others you give up your right of speech. We are becoming a bunch of zombies because we are afraid to speak up when these corporations can do what they want and we are left with nothing. Speech is a God given right and we must stand up for ourselves otherwise we are a lost nation.

Dianna Morrow - June 22, 2019

My question regarding the tech companies deciding what is good or hate speech is this, Why can’t other groups build tech companies not under the Silicon Valley area and people? I just do not understand why only those companies there are able or allowed to do this and thus decide about what speech is allowed. Thank you.

Martin Pickens - June 23, 2019

Social media outlets like Facebook are in the “public domain”, therefore we need to push for laws forcing them to honor the First Amendment.

Donald DeVoe - June 24, 2019

The “Progressive” Democratic Party has taken dead aim at the First Amendment. PC in speech has created the illusion of another “right”… the right to not be offended. So, hate speech, (anything offensive as defined by ?), falls right in line and can now be punished… which frankly, is already being punished in the public arena. It won’t take long for the legislation/regulation to follow. We’ve lost the cultural concept of “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”.

Gerald # Hewitt - June 24, 2019

We believe Heritage should stand by our
US constitution. they should support freedom of speech and religion. Our US
constitution has many freedoms that some
may attempt to regulate or criminalize.
Do not let your guard down. Protect our
freedoms in the constitution.

Martha Langston Brazier - June 28, 2019

We should start in the homes and schools teaching respect for others again and then we would not have to worry about “hate” speech!

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