Once in your life, you will somehow have to suffer from verbal abuse (criticism, insults, denunciation) directly or indirectly, but more than hurt feelings, I want you to know the real danger of hate speech.
Democracy is always associated with personal rights, including the right freedom of speech. But why do we need a limit for this? The problem is that freedom of speech can easily become hate speech or verbal harassment.
Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right of free speech is broad and guaranteed to all. This means that the government does not have the right to forbid us from saying what we like and writing what we want: we can from clubs and organizations and take part in demonstrations, especially when we are standing in a country when democracy is always upheld. But the thing is getting out of control when we misuse our freedom to insult or hurt others, instead of protecting ourselves.
There are many ways for people to take advantage of free speech:
1. Use vulgar words to humiliate others.
2. Create untrue rumors and false information to lower credibility and bully people
3. Post offensive words on social media
4. Make jokes about people's sexuality, ethnicity, skin color, religion and variety of other aspects. While you may believe this is just simply a joke to a friend, never can you understand how people really feel.
Because of the development of the Internet, even a word can greatly inflict many people. For example, netizens leave anonymous and negative messages to aim at a person, and maybe just for no reason. Netizens may not consider the consequences, but this is called "Cyberbully", which may lead to the victims' permanent psychological harm.
This problem happens not only in a big picture that relevant to the rights of free speech but also in daily life, especially in school, when most of the victims are below the age of 18.
When any student is harassed, it is jeopardies his or her ability to learn. Studies have shown that LGBT students who are harassed by verbal abuse are likely to perform poorly in class, abandon school activities, or even suffer physical injury. A recent study in Pediatrics found that more than 25% of the lesbian and gay teen surveyed had skipped school out of fear for their safety. ("Preventing Harassment And Protecting Free Speech In School")
"Absolute free speech might be a nice idea, but in reality, a society in which privileged group or person can say things that threaten the safety and fundamental rights of less privileged groups is absolutely not a free society." ("More than Hurt Feelings: The Real Danger of Hate Speech")
Before you say something, stop and think about how you would feel if someone said it to you. If you don't think, then you shouldn't talk because your words can kill someone's happiness.The definition of freedom doesn't mean you can do anything you want without rules, but it means you can do everything without being absolute control.
What if the person suffering hate speech was someone you loved? Imagine how bad it would be if people misuse their freedom to hurt others by verbal abuse and we had to live in a society with no love and sympathy?
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chain, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" – Nelson Mandela.