So several people whom I appreciate a great deal have written about this post–or, rather, the development of its comments thread. They’ve already dealt with the categorization of some comments as hate speech, and the ways in which they are hateful, and I’m tired–so I’ll simply link their incisive analyses.
But I have some questions, hopefully questions that you’re all interested in discussing.
This debate comes up a lot related to various groups of people and various blogs and kinds of blogs. We’ve had discussions here at feministe, many of them intense, about the responsibility of blog hosts and commenters to complain about hate speech and bigoted speech when it occurs, and to refuse to be nice to the people who use it.
What, as far as you’re concerned, constitutes hate speech? Why do you characterize hate speech that way? Has your definition changed or crystallized over the course of blogging or commenting on blogs? What do you, members of the hive mind, think about the responsibility of these communities to police this issue, or at least to make it into an open problem rather than a transparent one?
(If you need to open up old blog battles, however apocalyptic, feel free. I’m not sure how this discussion could even occur without leeway on that issue. I am also aware that one commenter’s vicious waste of words is another commenter’s blogpotheosis. Just, you know, I mean…oh, fuck it. The trainwreck will occur if it occurs. I trust all of you to make something of it in any case. Happy holidays and a wonderful year to all of you!)