DensityDesign F.S.S. 2018/2019

Hate Shades

A project by Nicola Brignoli, Francesca Brotto, Lea Mara Fabiano, Elena Filippi, Edoardo Guido, Jacopo Poletto

Hate speech is a controversial and debated phenomenon, as it lies in a complex nexus with free speech. Several treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) have attempted to define its contours. It is indeed a controversial term, as it is positioned in a delicate balance between freedom of expression and the respect for equality, liberty and dignity of every human being.

Legally and politically speaking there is an existing division between the American and the European approach to regulate hate speech, since the will of the United States to protect freedom of expression, as promoted by the First Amendment, has much broader boundaries than what is actually tolerated in Europe.

Moreover the internet’s speed widely spreads the phenomenon and therefore makes it difficult for the IT companies, i.e. private social platforms, to regulate online hate speech. What then bring even more issues to the matter are the dynamics through which certain types of hateful contents lead—or not— to actual acts of discrimination or violence.

In such a complex panorama we tried to follow a possible path that a user could take in order to get information and form an opinion about hate speech, starting with a theoretical approach to the issue, moving to a more practical observation of the hatred phenomenon, up to analyzing which are the opinions of the users by actual observing real discussions on social platforms.

We have therefore tried to map the controversial debate that the Hate Speech term generates: is it filtering or censorship? What we can deduce from such a vast phenomenon is that the discussion, rather than promoting these two kind of polarizations, tells instead the intrinsic nuances of the topic, making the controversy alive, understandable and debatable.

research roadmap

RationalWiki “Hate Sites” Wikipedia “Hate Speech” definition Google “Hate Speech” definition Kialo “Should hate speech be legalized?” Google “Hate Speech & Filtering” “Hate Speech & Censorship” 5 How does the discussion about Hate Speech & Filtering develop on Google? 4 Which opinions arise from the analysis of a discussion about Hate Speech on Kialo? 3.4 Which are the most relevant sites in the Hate Echo Chamber created by the RationalWiki "Hate Sites"? 3.3 How does the user reach the “Hate Sites” defined by RationalWiki? 3.2 How do RationalWiki “Hate Sites” define themselves? 3.1 Which are the characteristics of the sites being accused to spread hate according to RationalWiki? 2.3 What are the topics in common between Hate Speech and Hate Crime on Wikipedia? 2.2 Which events may have caused peaks of views on the Wikipedia pages of Hate Speech? 2.1 How much did the definition of Hate Speech on Wikipedia change over time? 1 What do users find when they search “Hate Speech” on Google? 0 How do users get information and form their own opinion about Hate Speech? THEORETICAL APPROACH PRACTICAL APPROACH USER OPINION