13 House Democrats Offer Bill Demanding Government Study on Internet Hate Speech

Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill, January 16, 2014

Thirteen House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to study hate speech on the Internet, mobile phones and television and radio.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and 12 other House Democrats, would look at how those media are used to “advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate.”

The Hate Crime Reporting Act, H.R. 3878, is meant to update a 20-year-old study from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). That study, delivered to Congress in 1993, looked at hate speech on radio, TV and computer bulletin boards.

Jeffries says the NTIA needs to see how hate speech is transmitted over the various new modes of communication that have sprung up over the last two decades.

“The Internet is a wonderful vehicle for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” he said. “But it can also be used as a platform to promote hate and target vulnerable individuals.

“This legislation will mandate a comprehensive analysis of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of the First Amendment protection.”



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