In this era of the internet, social media platforms are very popular not only among youths but also among adult citizens in the country. Specifically speaking, in this pandemic, people have mostly spent their time online. But how many of us really bother about online intolerance and the impact of hate speech in our life? It is important to understand how hate speech and intolerance can lead to unexpected negative impact that we don’t want in our life.
First of all, understanding the meaning of ‘Hate Speech’ is important. When a person with his/her communicative behavior attacks or uses discriminatory language referencing another person or a group based on their religion, ethnicity, rationality, race, color, gender, or any other identity factors – such situation can be defined as ‘Hate Speech’. Nowadays, hate speech is prominently seen on Facebook, Twitter, or Blog posts and other social media platforms. Sometimes we don’t rationally oppose an opinion rather engage in online fighting which brings nothing but negativity. This may push a person subconsciously to online radicalization. Hence being tolerant and rational regarding any ideas or opinions online is very important.
Delivering hate speech in the name of freedom of expression should not be normalized. Hate speech can create serious consequences for society. Therefore, our government has passed the ‘Digital Security Act 2018’ in 2018 to combat such online intolerance. To become a responsible netizen, it is mandatory to know about these laws. So, we should be respectful and empathetic towards any individual and be more compassionate in any conversation. We must keep in mind that we can surely express our thoughts in online platforms but it has to be rational and considerable.
Fatima Afrin Shammi
United Action Foundation