Asia Institute Tasmania

Forum | Hate Speech vs Free Speech


Dr Kaz Ross, Dr James Stewart and Dr Louise Richardson-Self, University of Tasmania

Start Date

20th Nov 2017 5:15pm

Right-wing organisations disseminating hateful messages against minority groups are becoming increasingly visible across Australia. While some of this visibility comes in the form of a physical presence on the streets of Melbourne or Sydney, much of this hate speech is most apparent in an online environment. The discourses these hate groups and political organisations deploy represents a growing global problem where xenophobic sections of society feel more emboldened and have the confidence to vilify vulnerable groups. Others dismiss hate speech as being nothing more than garden-variety offensive language and link it to the issue of free speech.

This forum is concerned with discussing the way hate speech emerges in Australia, and especially Tasmania, in its global context. More importantly, it will deal with how the community should deal with this phenomenon.


Dr Kaz Ross is Coordinator in Asian Studies, in Global Cultures & Languages, University of Tasmania. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne after spending time in China.

Dr James Stewart teaches in the Philosophy and Gender Studies Programme, University of Tasmania. He works on religious movements in South Asia especially Sri Lanka. 

Dr Louise Richardson-Self teaches in the Philosophy and Gender Studies Programme, University of Tasmania. She specialises in Feminist Philosophy, with key interests in Political Philosophy and Ethics.

This will be recorded on Livestream for those who are unable to attend.