Combating Hate Speech

Combating Hate Speech

Hate speech may directly advocate or encourage hate crimes, including violent acts, or create a climate of hate or prejudice, which could lead to hate crimes. Hate speech in our media often goes unchecked, allowing outright falsehoods, divisive language, and dehumanizing metaphors to foster hostile views against a specific group of people.

Following the historic immigration reform marches around the nation in 2006, NHMC observed a dramatic increase in anti-Latino hate speech in media. At the same time, FBI statistics revealed a measurable spike in anti-Latino hate crimes. NHMC filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission, asking that the agency study the extent and nature of hate speech in media, examine the effects, including the relationship between hate speech in media and hate crimes, and explore options for counteracting or reducing the negative effects. NHMC also requested that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration update its 1993 report “The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.”

In the absence of new analysis by the FCC or the NTIA, NHMC commissioned studies which show that people exposed to negative news narratives about Latinos and immigrants hold the most unfavorable and hostile views about both groups. NHMC, in partnership with more than 50 other diverse groups launched the Coalition Against Hate, to hold purveyors of hate speech accountable and encourage media platforms to abandon hate speech as a profit model.