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Free speech is one thing, but hate speech which threatens death and destruction against someone else should not come under the protection of the First Amendment.

Unfortunately, many Internet content providers, including Facebook among others, have not made the distinction between free speech and hate speech and, because they are allowing their sites to be used to promote hateful agendas, they are enabling haters  like the Holocaust Museum shooter, according to a contributor to the New York Times.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a NY Times article, said that websites which allow hate speech encourage haters “to find validation and empowerment, in effect incubating and multiplying the hate” and that they, the haters, are eventually “consumed by it.”

It is true that the Holocaust Museum shooter had an active website and, according to Rabbi Cooper, his “online activity were well known…for years.”

Making laws against sites which allow hate might help but it is up to the individual sites to determine what to allow and what to reject.  Guidelines should be set by content providers that clearly define the line.  Equally important, it’s up to individual users of these sites; if you see something that is obviously objectionable and beyond the purview of free speech, go ahead and contact Facebook or the content provider.

Read this:  Hate Crimes and Extremist Politics – Room for Debate Blog – NYTimes.com.

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