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Jun 1, 2010

Groups Call for FCC Examination of Hate Speech

(cross posted at the Citizen Media Law Project) 
Ars Technica reports on an effort by several groups to get the Federal Communications Commission to examine "hate speech" and "misinformation" in on- and off-line media.

The groups originally filed their initial request for such a probe in January 2009, then filed comments on May 7, 2010 in response to the FCC's current inquiry on "Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities in a Digital Age," renewing the request 

In their May comments, the groups state that they only want the FCC study to serve as an educational tool, not as the basis for restrictions of speech:
To be clear, NHMC et al. is not asking - and will not ask - the Commission to compose any sort of content regulations pertaining to hate speech in media. Rather, NHMC et al. respectfully request that the Commission initiate an inquiry into the extent and effects of hate speech in media and to explore non-regulatory means by which to mitigate its negative impacts. In conjunction with opening a docket for public comment on the matter, the FCC should also study the correlation between hate speech and hate crimes. Once this information is collected, NHMC et al. will utilize the data for educational, informational and research purposes. Specifically, NHMC et al. will confront and educate hate distributors about the consequences of hate speech and encourage them to self-regulate.

Comments at 3-4.

The comments were submitted by the National Hispanic Media Coalition, on behalf of itself, the Benton Foundation, the Center for Media Justice, the Center for Rural Strategies, the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality of the City University of New York School of Law, Common Cause, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Free Press, Hispanic / Latino, Anti-Defamation Coalition SF, Industry Ears, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, La Asamblea De Derechos Civiles, the League of Rural Voters, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Main Street Project, Media Action Grassroots Network, Media Alliance, Media Justice League, Media Literacy Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Mountain Area Information Network, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Nosotros, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc., Peoples Production House, Praxis Project, Prometheus Radio Project, Rainbow Push Coalition, Reclaim The Media, Transmission Project, and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.

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