Gender-Based Hate Speech: Contributions to the Global Policy Debate From Latin America

Paulina Godinez, Stephanie Rico, Katharine Sarikakis


Against the background of a global, yet unsettled, debate about what hate speech is and whether and how to regulate it, driven predominantly by European governance actors, this article provides a closer examination of the experiences of Latin America in pursuing policy, regulatory, and legislative answers. The study focuses on gender-based hate speech because this intersects with global questions of human rights, as well as local historical and legal contexts. The article demonstrates the reluctant approach to the regulation of hate speech through the study of policy initiatives by the state and policy considerations by civil society (CS) actors in Colombia and Guatemala, through semistructured interviews with CS organizations and the analysis of 19 policy milestones. Partly in contrast to the European approach, prejudice speech is considered a term that better reflects sociocultural contexts and responsibility vis-à-vis a narrow focus on individual “bad behavior.”


hate speech, media governance, Latin America, gender

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