Hate speech is speech with hurtful content which aims to attack individuals or groups. It encompasses all forms of speech, including the written form, gestures or comments posted on social media platforms.
Hate speech posted online is often directed at minorities, including women, members of the LGBT community, people with special needs and/or foreigners. Additionally, it takes aim at religion, race or ideology. Often, hate speech threatens the individual or group and calls for violent behavior. The persecution of hate speech worldwide depends on the jurisdiction of the respective country. In 2016, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter agreed on an EU Code of Conduct which calls for the majority of illegal hate content to be erased within 24 hours of posting. Germany is one of the countries where hate speech can be prosecuted in cases of libel, incitement and insult. This page collates DW content on hate speech.
Spotify, Facebook and Apple have all taken down content by Alex Jones, whose InfoWars site has a mass following. While he's previously taken heat for fake news, it was hate speech that landed him in hot water now.
Social media sites have published the results of a new German law hoping to clamp down on hate speech. However, a UK media investigation found that that Facebook does not delete posts containing Holocaust denial content.