Eko on Hate Speech in the US and France

Lyombe S. Eko (University of Iowa) has posted New Medium, Old Free Speech Regimes: The Historical and Ideological Foundations of French & American Regulation of Bias-Motivated Speech and Symbolic Expression on the Internet. The abstract follows.

This article analyzed how the United States and France regulate bias-motivated communication or hate speech on the Internet. Communication that is characterized by vitriolic expressions of hatred towards individuals or groups on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation is permissible in the United States because the country has an individualistic, libertarian worldview in which freedom of speech takes pride of place. Under the First Amendment, the rights of the speaker take precedence over the feelings of the listener. In contrast, France has a communitarian, moral philosophical system in which civility and equality take precedence over individual speech rights. These contrasting perspective were evident in the Yahoo! cases that were heard by courts in both countries.

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