Hate speech. Una categoria inattendibile

Anno LIV, n. 224, gennaio-aprile 2019

Anno LIV, n. 224, gennaio-aprile 2019
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In this article hate speech is considered as a deeply politicized category of public discourse against which relevant reservations could be raised. First, the category suffers of conceptual vagueness (the label “hate” is vague; the objects of hate are vaguely identified; the border between what is speech and what is not is vaguely traced). Second, the category is fed by political and epistemic disparities: hate speech is possible only on the background of asymmetrical relations, it is unilateral discourse (from specific speakers against specific targets). Third, the category promotes a moralistic conception of public discourse, justifying a distinction between good and bad tendencies of forms of expressions and punitive interventions against the bad ones. 

Explored these reservations the conclusion is that the category is unreliable both as an analytical and as a normative tool.