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Hate Speech Finds a Home on the Web

4 years ago
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I see that racist, hate-filled jerks have been exercising their free speech over at Free Republic, a political blog directed at readers of the hard right wing persuasion.
One of the great advancements in public communication via the World Wide Web's blogosphere should be spirited discussion among disparate voices, but, as I bemoaned recently of the caliber of observations posted below our own Woman Up discussion, much reader commentary is sadly lacking in decorum, civility, and mutual respect. I had not trolled the devotee output on other web logs and was, until recently, only vaguely aware of similar sliminess appearing on ideologically slanted websites. But a post on FR last week (now pulled) that included a picture of adorable 11-year-old Malia Obama, wearing a peace sign T-shirt in Italy while her father attended the G8 summit, generated commentary of such venom and hate that it drew attention from writers on both sides of the ideological spectrum.
Fox News conservative Bill O'Reilly has called out the right-wing website for being "nasty" and "vile." Today leftish and mainstream roundtables are having a meal on it, too. I will refrain from quoting the mean-spirited commentary and take Free Republic editors at their word that they do not "advocate or condone racism, violence, rebellion, secession, or an overthrow of the government" and suggest they also refrain from encouraging or condoning despicable behavior by some of their readers.

Related:
Hate Is a Word, Not a Crime
Hating on the Obamas
Hate Speech and the President's Daughter
Filed Under: Barack Obama, Woman Up

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