Most of us will probably agree that verbally threatening someone’s life or threatening violence on the body can be considered hate speech. It often is also criminal to do so, and is called extortion if money or something of value is requested also.

Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel so should this kind of speech be censored in the press or on the internet if it is a tweet for example? It is not that clear that the censorship of hate speech should occur if it is from an enemy or potential enemy world leader.

Bullying verbally or abusive speech is trying to verbally or visually ruin someone’s reputation and may originate from hateful feelings but can you realistically censor all insults, put downs, name calling, profanity, ridicule, and humiliation which are the verbal and visual weapons used to attack someone’s credibility or reputation? Clearly this censorship is mission impossible even though civility demands that you should behave morally and ethically in positions of public leadership and minimize abusive speech. There are varying degrees of abusive or so called hate speech so the subject is far more complex than just a handful of rules to follow. For example you can casually say asshole once or repeat it about 4 times with a mean tone of voice so there are degrees of abusive language or so called hate speech.

The current media is especially guilty of character assassination attempts so should they be censored or even prosecuted for hate speech? The answer is that new standards of moral or ethical free speech will have to be instituted to reduce lying or fake information, fake news, and fake allegations to restore some semblance of trust in the media, leadership, and restore some trust in government institutions such as the Supreme Court, judges, FBI, and local police officers. It should be obvious by now that two much unbounded free speech and video leads to instability and chaos in the long duration. But lying is slander or libel if it is about a person and this is a criminal act subject to prosecution and fines. It is a criminal form of hate speech designed to destroy a reputation.

Pedophilia speech, visuals, and videos should definitely be censored and offenders severely prosecuted and incarcerated for their criminal “free speech” which very remotely can be considered to be mild hate speech.

Bullying and verbal attacks are incredibly hard to process for hate speech, especially with artificial intelligence or algorithms, since there is so much complexity which is not clearly right or wrong, black or white. Yes, slander and libel are a category which should definitely be censored criminally even for public officials especially if slander or libel is designed to destroy someone’s reputation in public.

To summarize, hate speech is threatening violence on someone, pedophilia, and libel and slander. If you say that you hate someone, some may claim this is hate speech but the reality is that it is merely an emotional reaction to someone and does not qualify as genuine hate speech.

Yes, there is uncivil or abusive speech in public by leaders which can be considered immoral or unethical speech but it reflects the way that many humans behave in real life and is fundamentally not considered criminal speech. Hate speech must be considered to be criminal speech. Abusive speech should be minimized in public but it is not criminal speech to be prosecuted and fined.

It is sad to see the president use abusive speech on occasion but that is the new reality which is abhorrent but not criminal. It is not a high crime or misdemeanor  or hard core hate speech so you can’t be impeached for using abusive language which nevertheless can seem very shocking for some. Yes, being rude, abusive, and mean is bad speech and could theoretically be considered hate speech but how in the world do you censor it with a bot or algorithm?

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