Fighting Back: Offensive Speech and Cultural Conflict
26 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2016 Last revised: 28 Apr 2018
Date Written: 1992
After briefly reviewing the legal landscape in the area of offensive speech, the author will argue that the courts are quite correct in providing a high degree of protection for offensive speech in spite of the often significant competing interests. Instead of seeking legal regulation, those who take issue with the existence, manner or content of offensive speech should challenge it through counter speech or should seek to curb it through private pressure.
The author will conclude by considering some of the issues that are presented by a strategy of attacking offensive speech with counter speech and social pressure rather than regulation.
Keywords: Offensive speech, First Amendment, Supreme Court decisions, hate speech
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