BONUS TITLE: Hate Speech
A recent news about the new hate speech laws in Australia that does not cover gendered hate speech towards women breached a provision in the SPJ Code of Ethics. It is the provision that states, “show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage.”
In this article, it displayed the harmful effects of the limited set of new rules about hate speech by failing to address the targeting of hate speech towards women. Hate speech laws in Australia include the rule of making it a crime when people start to “publicly threaten or incite violence towards another person or group on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and HIV/AIDS status.”
However situations, according to the article, that even politicians are able to get away with hate speech like sexist slurs on women does not fulfill the law ultimately. Sexist speech and harassment online is also a continuing problem on silencing women’s voices in online platforms. Instances wherein strong, opinionated, and tough women are being rebuked in a male-dominated workforce. These are examples proves that hate speech also contribute to other forms of gender-based harm.
Even Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, stated in the article, that only apply to employers, qualifying bodies, educational authorities, providers of good or services or accommodation providers don’t cover acts of hateful speech of individuals outside context.
In this article shows just how much hate speech can cause harmful effects, like assault, stalking or cyber bullying, to people and not just towards women when the government of the country doesn’t do anything to address the problem. Even if it’s news coverage or a set of laws, citizens are still able to access this information. Anyone acquiring this information has the decision to set a good example or to defy to satisfy their selfish decisions. In the end, citizens should all be responsible in handling this type of information, especially information that are sensitive in society that still has presence today.