Virtual Lecture – Re-Defining Online Hate Speech: Frameworks and Realities in Rapidly Evolving Political Contexts

Wednesday 9 February 2022, 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST, online (Washington DC, USA)


Building on the dramatic political transformations that occurred in Ethiopia since 2015, this chapter examines the potentials and limits of strategies to recognize and analyse hate speech in polarized societies. It reflects on how analytical frameworks devised to address a political context characterized by a tight control of a specific group over others may need to be radically rethought when such a group loses its grip on power, unleashing deep-rooted sentiments of resentment and retribution. This experience is used as a starting point to consider the importance of paying close attention to shifting power dynamics in conflict scenarios and devise appropriate measures to both recognize hate speech and its potential to lead to widespread violence.


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