Free speech vs. hate speech

Yesterday’s topic was about book banning and censorship. How about hate speech and censorship? Where should we draw the line on free speech?

Here’s an article about a protest that took place in Tokyo a few days ago, outside of Twitter’s office.

At Twitter’s Tokyo Office, Protesters Stomp on Hateful Tweets” (from Global Voices)

That’s one way to protest. Another way is with humor. Like the “Mean Tweets” segment on Jimmy Kimmel. People read mean tweets about themselves. One way to deal with bullies is to laugh at them.

Here’s one with President Obama, done right before the election. His response to the last tweet is depressing to see now, but I do miss his sense of humor.

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Why would anyone want to ban that?

This short video is about a temporary display in Germany of books that have been banned in the past. The goal is to get people thinking and talking about censorship.

More information about this exhibit here

I’m reminded of the controversy about the Harry Potter books. Some religious zealots wanted to (and continue to want to, according to this more recent article) ban these books in classrooms and libraries because they claim the stories contain “occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence”.

Here’s another list of “20 banned books that may surprise you”. Included in the list:

  • “Little Red Riding Hood” — because she has wine in her basket (!)
  • “Where’s Waldo” — because of some of the people depicted in the crowds surrounding Waldo
  • “The Wizard of Oz” — because Oz was too socialist and because it depicts one witch as good
  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” — for two reasons (read them here)

And …

  • The dictionary. Can you guess why? (It’s #13 on the list if you want to check.)

99%

According to this short article from PRI, 99% of the refugees seeking asylum in Japan are rejected. Here’s the story of one who wasn’t. (You can listen to the audio, though it’s not the same as the written text. I suggest reading first and then listening, after you have a good idea about the story).

It’s a good story to learn about the people behind the statistics.

“Meet one of the handful of Syrians granted asylum in Japan”

 

 

A survey to document discrimination

In some classes this term, students have been making surveys to collect information about people’s knowledge, experiences, and opinions on a variety of themes. I happened across this article this morning that has an interesting survey. They want to know: “Have you experienced or witnessed hate?” Their goal is to collect people’s stories to better understand hate crimes and discrimination.

This survey appears to be only collecting information about discrimination and hate from the U.S., but it’s a good discussion starter and may help you with your own surveys.