Free speech is important for encouraging discourse, fostering the exchange of new ideas, preventing suppression, and preserving other individual freedoms. However, at what point, if any, does free speech and hate speech need a distinction? Should any speech be limited? What if it is rallying and encouraging violence, either verbal or physical, against other people?
There are many examples of chat rooms and forums on the internet that are unregulated, and allow hate speech to thrive. Many of these exist to combat what some see as an increasing attack on their civil liberties. Some worry the growing trend of political correctness stifles open dialog and may use these sites to simply air their ideas on a range of unpopular opinions, where they feel others are more open to listening. Hate speech however, is not simple derogatory remarks; hate speech singles out groups for attacks based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity. A number of examples can be found where these insular chat rooms spark further actions that are physically harmful. Is it better for hate speech and hateful rhetoric to be allowed more openly, hidden where only people of similar views will comment, or banned entirely? Aside from any one particular view on these topics, what harm or benefit might hiding or banning hate speech entail?