Ofcom widens definition of hate speech to include intolerance of transgender issues and other people’s political ‘or any other’ opinions

Jan 2, 2021 by

from Mailonline:

Ofcom has widened its definition of hate speech to include intolerance of gender reassignment and ‘political or any other opinion’.

The communications regulator updated its code, which previously required broadcasters to ensure programmes contained no incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion, or nationality.

Ofcom now defines hate speech as: ‘All forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, social origin, sex, gender, gender reassignment, nationality, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, genetic features, language, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth or age.’

The changes have come about due to new requirements under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Regulation (AVMS) 2020 and ‘also take account of legislative changes following the end of the transition period for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union’, said Ofcom.

During the consultation period, ViacomCBS Networks, which owns Channel 5, said Ofcom needed to consider context when deciding what is hate speech and allow a programme which ‘challenges boundaries and uses humour to explore societal issues’ without meaning harm.

Another respondent raised concerns about the definition of hate speech being made too broad.

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