International Day For Countering Hate Speech
By definition, hate speech encompasses a variety of expressions that incite, advocate, promote, and justify hatred, discrimination, and violence against a particular person or group of people. It is not only a grave danger to the groups targeted but also a threat to the cohesion of a democratic society.
It can undermine basic human rights, which can make it easier to erode the rule of law. When hate speech is left unchecked, it can lead to larger and more widespread acts of violence. That’s why it’s important for all of us to take a stand against it.
Not only at the local level but also at the regional, national, and international levels. A holiday observed on the 18th of June reminds us to make that stand. This holiday is called the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, and it’s a day that everyone, everywhere should consider observing.
The History of International Day for Countering Hate Speech
Some of the first hate speech laws were developed in the United States during the 1990s. This is when the U.S. Congress asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to examine the role that telecommunications play in spreading hate speech and inciting violence.
The NTIA returned with a report on the subject that declared a climate of hate easily induces violence. During the 2000s, various organizations outlined the major components of hate speech.
They determined that hate speech uses flawed arguments and logical fallacies, false information, dehumanizing metaphors, and divisive language to accelerate hate speech and incite violence. The International Day for Countering Hate Speech was created not long after to help educate people about the need to stop hate speech in all its forms.
Observing International Day for Countering Hate Speech
One of the first things people can do is take the time to research hate speech. The more a person knows about hate speech, the more likely they will be able to devise a way to fight it.
People should also make a pledge on this holiday to speak up against hate speech and let others know that hate speech isn’t free speech but is a crime with repercussions. It’s also a good day for people to examine their own thoughts and the way they speak to those who are different from themselves.
One of the best things a person can do to help curb hate speech is to stop it within themselves first. And finally, everyone can take the time to spread the word about this holiday online using the hashtag #InternationalDayForCounteringHateSpeech.