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