Intermediate: how to analyse the speaker of hate speech

icon imageThis analysis will help you understand the likeliness of the speakers’ hate message being positively received by the audience. It is important here to assess how much the speaker has abandoned their political/social/moral obligations when engaging in hate speech (engaging in hate speech is more serious for public servants, who must not discriminate among citizens, than it is for politicians, who are supposed to act as the voice of their constituency and which might hold rather radical views towards some social groups).

 Criteria to be considered 

Status of the speaker

The answer options, in order of severity, are: “Regular citizen”, “Political figure”, “Public figure or influencer ”, “Educator”, “Public servant”. “Regular citizen” means that the hater’s status does not provide them with authority over the audience. “Political figure” refers to politicians or to similar figures (e.g. union leaders, NGO representatives). Choose “Public figure or influencer” when the speaker is a well-known figure (e.g. actors, vloggers, journalists, artists). “Educator” applies for teachers, university professors etc. “Public servant” refers to people who are supposed to serve all member of society without discriminating.

Capacity in which the speaker made the statement

Most of the time, the status of the speaker is the same as the capacity in which they deliver the expression. However, sometimes the capacity differs from the status, such as when a politician’s private conversation is leaked in the public space. The answer options are the same as for the status of the speaker: “Regular citizen”, “Political figure”, “Public figure or influencer”, “Educator”, “Public servant”.

Influence of the speaker on the group targeted by the expression

The answer options, in order of severity are: “Little to no influence”, “Limited influence”, “Moderate influence”, “High influence”. In order to assess this, you should look into how much damage the actions of the speaker acting in accordance to their status can cause to the targeted group targeted. A regular citizen engaging in hate speech will have less influence than a public servant whose daily work involves protecting the human rights of people against whom (s)he is speaking.