Blurring The Lines Between Hate And Opinion — What You Need To Know

Following the tragic violence which occurred at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, the nation is on high alert in regard to hate groups.

Take a look at any social media site and you will find the rhetoric and hate-filled vitriol of numerous organizations — and in all likelihood, people will be arguing about it.

The right to free speech is one of our most profound liberties, but with an ever-increasing climate of intolerance, manycompanies are now taking steps to limit — or prohibit altogether — hatred or bigotry on their sites.

Reuters reported:

Social media networks Twitter Inc. and LinkedIn, music service Spotify Ltd and security firm Cloudflare Inc were among the companies cutting off services to hate groups or removing material that they said spread hate.

Earlier in the week, Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc., and GoDaddy Inc. also took steps to block hate groups.

The wave of internet crackdowns against white nationalists and neo-Nazis reflected a rapidly changing mindset among Silicon Valley firms on how far they are willing to go to police hate speech.

Tech companies have taken down violent propaganda from Islamic State and other militant groups, in part in response to government pressure. But most internet companies have traditionally tried to steer clear of making judgments about content except in cases of illegal activity.

Social media giants Twitter and Facebook have made a habit in the past of removing or blocking content which violates their policies of harassment and hateful conduct, and due to recent events, they have increased their search for content which promotes hatred or violence.

And financial companies like Apple Pay, Paypal, and even the major credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard are pulling their merchant services for websites thought to be run by hate groups or those looking to promote violent assembly like that which occurred in Charlottesville.

Reuters continued:

“With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Wednesday.

Spotify, based in Sweden, said it was in the process of removing musical acts from its streaming service that had been flagged as racist “hate bands” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But here is where the situation gets a bit murky.  Since most Americans are passionate about their causes and opinions on both sides, what actually qualifies as hate speech or being labeled a hate group?

Wikipedia defines a hate group as “a social group that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society.”

Our First Amendment rights are now in serious jeopardy.  We wish to raise our children with strong, traditional values — values that are now under fire by leftist organizations.

If our teens post a conservative Christian message on Facebook, or tweet they don’t believe in homosexual marriage, will that be labeled as hate speech, as well?

Preserving our constitutional rights for our children and the following generations is vital, and our children must be able to stand for what they believe in without fear of violence or hatred.

One of the most notablesocial justice groups targeting conservatives is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), referenced by these tech companies as a driving force in their decision about which groups and content should be pulled from their sites.

The SPLC, and a similar watchdog group, Guidestar, claim to be neutral parties who fight against injustices committed against innocent victims by hate groups.

But one look at the SPLC’s website shows they are part of the ultra-left social justice movement whose list of hate groups includes many conservative and Christian organizations — none of which have committed violence or hatred.

The Blaze reported:

“profiles for Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and the American Family Association now each feature a banner warning they were ‘flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.'”

Groups flagged as hate groups by the SPLC include Christian nonprofits who are “dedicated to defending religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and the family.”

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Conservative groups and even churches are targeted simply because they hold values that are not in line with the liberal ideology so prevalent today.

But groups like “Black Lives Matter”, who have committed actual violence against whites and public, nationwide reverse discrimination, are not considered a hate group by the SPLC.

What will we tell our children when their family church or youth group is labeled as a hate group for defending traditional values?

Open communication with our children is key.  We must remain vigilant about what they see on social media — teaching them to stand for their beliefs while respecting the fact that others’ opinions may vary from theirs.

There is a very distinct difference between the hate and opinion, and parents must make sure theirchildren understand how to navigate the issues.

Our nation is on a path to destruction.  If we lose our fundamental right to express ourselves or our children are afraid to stand for the values we teach them as they grow,   where will we be?

How are you guiding your child through this complex issue?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.