An Ethical Exploration of Free Expression and the Problem of Hate Speech

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24 (4):238-250 (2009)
The traditional Western notion of freedom of expression has been criticized in recent years by critical race theorists who argue that this ethos ignores the gross power imbalance between the users of hate speech and their victims. These claims have in turn produced a counterattack by those who hew to the classical libertarian model of free speech. This article examines the arguments put forth by both proponents of the libertarian model of free expression and critical race theorists. By providing a historical analysis of the competing ethical models behind these arguments and the ramifications of each approach toward hate speech, this article attempts to provide a useful and practical model for approaching the problem of hateful messages in modern society
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DOI 10.1080/08900520903320894
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John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.

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