Memes as Hate Speech


My hypothesis is that the law must weigh their options in getting involved with online hate speech, particularly memes. The way I back up my research is through an interdisciplinary approach of law and computer science. I will use the law's understanding of hate speech, with reference to cases that use symbols as the center of hate speech can be later analogized to memes, and cases involving internet speech to lay out the legal theory of hate speech. I also will compare different legal perspectives on whether the law should have a say in the internet world based on current laws in place.
This will be combined with current computer science algorithms used by social media companies to filter out hate speech as well experimental ones. This discipline will also have theories on hate speech and use different approaches to building algorithms. What this research will show is an incongruence between the two disciplines in hate speech theory which exposes a problem of first amendment rights of users of social media platforms and the rights of private internet companies such as Facebook to be free from government interference. An interdisciplinary approach was necessary to understand the full scope of online hate speech as well as weigh all the different aspects related to the law and internet’s relationship. It seems that hate speech is the cross section where both law and computer science is applied when the online domain is the space where it occurs. With both disciplines I feel I have an integrated approach which works best towards the end of stopping online hate speech through memes.