Hate speech growing globally : First international day to counter hate speech observed.

The United Nation says the hate speech is on the rise worldwide with the potential to incite violence, undermine social cohesion and tolerance, and cause psychological, emotional and physical harm to those affected.

Hate speech not only affects the specific individuals and groups targeted, but societies at large, the UN said in commemoration of the first 'International Day to Counter Hate Speech'' on Saturday.

The first international days is a call to action.

''Let us recommit to doing everything in our power to prevent and end hate speech by promoting respect for diversity and inclusivity,'' UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

Mr. Gutetres said : ''Words can be weaponised and cause physical harm. The Internet and social media have turbocharged hate speech, enabling it to spread like wildfire across borders.

The spread of hate speech against minorities during the Cocid-19 pandemic provides further evidence that many societies are highly vulnerable to the stigma, discrimination and conspiracies it promotes.''

According to the UN, the devastating effects of hatred is sadly nothing new, however, its scale and impact are amplified today by new technologies of communication, so much that hate speech, has become one of the most frequent methods for spreading divisive rhetoric and ideologies on a global scale.

If left unchecked, hate speech can even harm peace and development, as it lays the ground for conflicts and tensions, wide scale human rights violations.

This is not an isolated phenomenon or the loud voices of a few people on the fringe of a society.

Hate is moving into the mainstream - in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike, and with each broken norm, the pillars of common humanity are weakened, the UN says.

In July 2021, the UN General Assembly highlighted global concerns over '' the exponential spread and proliferation of hate speech'' around the world and adopted a resolution on '' promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech.''

The resolution recognizes the need to counter discrimination, xenophobia and hate hate speech and calls on relevant actors, including states, to increase their efforts to address this phenomenon, in line with the international human rights.

The World Students Society thanks author Amin Ahmed, Dawn.


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