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Does Hate Speech Provoke Hate Crimes?

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Hate crime is on a rise ever since awareness regarding Freedom of speech have increased. Isn’t it ironic how the same platform that gives a voice to oppressors also gives a voice to predators? When we talk about Hate crime, we all accept that hate speech is one of the main reasons for it. Hiding under the umbrella of freedom of speech, there are hatemongers and racists that utilize the useful platform of freedom of speech to gain their personal objectives and spreading hate among society. Hate speech is one of the quagmires of our society that has done more damage than the others. However, where the agreement of an interrelation between hate speech and hate crime ends, is on the question of whether a well-known celebrity’s tweets or speeches really provoke hate crimes in people? One school of thought is convinced that hate crimes have increased significantly in Trump's presidency due to is blatant views and harsh policies on other races and ethnicities; some people have their opinion that hate speech is on a rise because of the lack of check and balance on social media.

I stand with the view that hate speech provokes hate crimes. You cannot completely control hate crimes by banning hate speech, however, hate speech is a catalyst to hate crimes and feeds the likes of hatemongers and racists. Ban on hate speech helps to maintain a balance between different ethnicities and racial sects. However, an important question that arises here is how do we separate hate speech from freedom of speech? How do we get to know when someone is crossing limits and is potentially subject to harm someone else? Who is in charge of all this and how can hate speech be prevented/stopped? There are so many questions to answer and so many steps to take to prevent hate speech.

Furthermore, hate speech becomes popular because of some celebrity or public figure persons start delivering it against different religion race or ethnicity. Due to these things the warmongers or criminals felt provoke and start doing crimes according to many psychologists people want another person to blame their false actions, sometimes. Hate crimes increase against Muslims in many countries. They start spreading hate between different religions or ethnicity and sometimes they do brainwash other people. According to the BllombergOpinoin Karsten Muller and Schwarz, in March published a paper that attesting hate crimes towards Muslims especially increased in America counties by the usage of social media especially twitter following president Donald Trump’s election. Before the election, the hate crimes in these areas didn’t have a greater rate of crimes. Although social media played a great role in violence due to free speech which turns out to be a hate speech or criticism. I always believed that social media is a great way to express yourself and thoughts and you can also express your thoughts and feelings about another person or community. But some free speech appears to be a hate speech and negative criticism, according to Leonid Bershidsky, he writes in his article that “In the German study, anti-refugee posts on the Facebook page of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party appear to be catalyst for violence.” in other words Leonid claims, anti-refugee post or campaign on social media have a prominent hand in hate crimes and I also believe that social media sites produce some controversial issues too. According to Muller and Schwarz, they estimate that without the AfD Facebook posts, 13 percent less anti-refugee crimes would have happened. Through Facebook and internet unavailability, the rate of hate crimes gradually reduced.

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On the other hand, America recognized and they looked up complete data of 26 years of Federal Bureau of Investigation that has published. They also examine country-level demographics and balloting patterns. As per the German study, Muller and Schwarz did the same research. Back then to Nazi-era atrocities to see where more hate crimes inclined because that kind of thing and they found that they aren’t in the co-relation with social media. Leonid believes that social media is not the only responsible for violence and crimes. On the one hand, Muller and Schwarz estimated that social media have an effect on hate crimes but on the other hand, the 26 years of FBI’s data shows that, back then social media or hate speeches are not the factor for violence or crimes. My own views are hate speeches plays a great role in the hate crimes, many criminals have short temper and they provoke by hate speech and do crimes based on that i.e, sometimes there are many jokes that some people offended by it or some just take it as a joke or sarcasm. The main question is how we identify that some post or speech is referred to as hate or free speech.

In addition, Donald Trump’s years of presidency the hate crimes inreases, as per new data from federal bureau investigation hate crimes surged in continues three years. According to editorial, some law enforcement authorities proclaimed “7,175 hate crimes in 2017, compared with 6,121 in 2016”. In other words the author of editorial is trying to say when the president of united states of America is changed, the hate crimes expands. In annually data shows that there is an increase in hate crimes and more than half percent shows that mostly based on different race or ethnicity. Also in San Francisco, more than half of crimes seemed close to these incidents. Some famous and public figure personalities illustrated a role in hate crimes including president Donald Trump. President trump used a social site to give controversial statements or messages whether its about anti-muslim, Mexican border or anti-immigrant. He created chaos and give power to white supremacists and groups based on hate to feel more satisfied in expressing their beliefs in actions.

In addition, Trumps is not responsible for what his supporters do. After when trump elect as a president the first incident go viral when a university student climed that trump’s supporters specifically white males pulled her hijab off and stole her wallet but after some days police stated that “the young lady had admitted she fabricated the story. This incident is no longer under investigation,' (the Lafayette Police Department said in a press release). Likely one more incident occurred that a gay man was attacked by the trump’s supporters on the election night but the police department said that this is the false allegation and we don't get any report or didn’t find a victim in any hospital of such incident. The author of Editor believes that trump’s bears some responsibility that his controversial messages may give wrong or hate signals to his supporters and they do crimes. But on the other hand, Ms. Elizebeth Nolan Brown demonstrate that Trump is not responsible what his supportes do and opposition makes false claims for some view on their social site or for the sake of some likes or favorites. My views are that everyone is responsible for their own action but sometimes the criminals need courage, that’s why figure persons should be well aware of his words and its consequences.

In conclusion, free speech matters because we can give awareness through free speech but it can also be used for the hate speech. The editorial brought up the strong point that some politician bear the responsibility what their word cause but on the other side the also brought up a great point that sometimes opposition makes false claims to defame other. There are so many questions generate who is the in charge to set what is hate speech and how government or law enforcement authorities regulate it?

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Does Hate Speech Provoke Hate Crimes? (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Does Hate Speech Provoke Hate Crimes?” Edubirdie, 16 Sept. 2021,
Does Hate Speech Provoke Hate Crimes? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
Does Hate Speech Provoke Hate Crimes? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 16 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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