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Our Changing World: Politics of hate in the age of the internet

China’s influence, Auckland’s superdiversity, philosophical issues in health and science research – these are just a few of the sizzling topics in this year’s Our Changing World public lecture tour by Massey University humanities and social science scholars.

Recent surveys have shown a significant spike in online hate speech. The opportunity provided by social and online media to be highly personal, or derogatory, about others on the anonymity of the web has seen an escalation in hostile and disrespectful views being expressed.

What are the politics behind this trend? And what is the impact on those targeted? How do we define hate, and particularly hate speech? And should we, as part of a liberal democracy, be concerned?