Free speech is one of the cornerstones of modern democratic society and is a right that is fiercely protected. I would know. I'm a writer. There is a line between expressing opinions, however, and committing hate speech, which serves no discernible purpose except to incite rage or violence from or against an individual or collection of people, entirely because of their membership to a certain group. Hate speech is usually directed at racial minorities, women, religious groups and people of other sexual orientations [source: U.S. Legal].
It can be difficult to seek justice against perpetrators of hate speech, unless a serious, credible threat has been made [source: Civil Rights.org]. This is compounded by the fact that some people find certain words or phrases offensive, while others do not. Many experts insist that the best way to counteract online hate speech, which will never be 100 percent controllable, is to continue promoting education and tolerance about people of different faiths, backgrounds and lifestyles [source: Howard]. Hmm ... sounds like those "The More You Know" PSA campaigns were more groundbreaking than I ever realized before!