Politics SE seems to be plagued with hate speech, and not much seems to be done about it. Eventually the posts will get removed, but that doesn't stop the user from posting more hate speech. This is a recent answer from a user who repeatedly posts offensive, heavily biased answers, and in this case hate speech.

If you read the article, it actually states that those 23'000 are those who have been identified as subjects of interest in criminal investigations in the past.

But I think what you are really asking is "How many Islamic extremists are there in the UK?" to which I will try and provide a sufficient answer.

According to ICM polling statistics verified by the The Guardian, the most liberal newspaper in the UK, almost half of Muslims in the UK (47%) said they believe it is unacceptable for a homosexual to be a school teacher, and 52% believe that homosexuality should be illegal, compared with 5% of the normal population. More shockingly, the number of terrorist sympathizers (those who had sympathy for the actions of the people who carried out terrorist attacks) was 4%. If that's not an extreme view, I don't know what is.

The UK's muslim population is approximately 3 million and extrapolation of that data suggests that the extremist population of the UK is around 0.04 x 3'000'000 = 120'000 Islamic extremists in the UK.

Details about how the poll was conducted can be found here on the ICM web site. https://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/icm-muslims-survey-for-channel-4/

And to wrap up and summarise, no, it is not true that there are 23'000 extremists in the UK, there are a great deal more. The 23'000 is only those on police radar.

God bless and stay safe.

You may ask what makes this hate speech? Well first of all these statistics that are cited do not claim to be statistics for how many Islamic extremist there are in the UK. The statistic merely indicates how many have some sympathy for extremists, not how many are extremists. It is also worth noting the linked study has this statistic marked as having a small sample size, and therefor being potentially inaccurate. However this has not stopped the user from claiming this to be factual, and then using it to condemn Muslims as terrorists. Here is one of the users comments where he again claims this to be factual information:

Its a bad day for science when facts that answer questions honestly get downvotes. Come out of the shadows you little creeps!

This is also somewhat problematic as it is an attempt to bait other users.

However could this all just be an honest misinterpretation of the statistics and not intentional hate speech? No, I don't think so, and here's why.

And to wrap up and summarise, no, it is not true that there are 23'000 extremists in the UK, there are a great deal more. The 23'000 is only those on police radar.

God bless and stay safe.

This portion of the original post clearly attempts to relay the view that Muslims are dangerous terrorists. This user is deliberately telling people to be distrustful of Muslims.

So what is being done about hate speech on politics SE? It keeps popping up regularly.

  • 10
    Come out of the shadows you little creeps! should have been flagged as "rude and offensive" IMHO. Calling other users "little creeps" is NOT okay. – user11249 Sep 15 '17 at 22:58
  • 4
    @Carpetsmoker So much should be flagged, it's harder to find something this user posted there that doesn't deserve a flag – Braydon Sep 16 '17 at 1:24
  • All the more reason to flag stuff, to let mods know there is a clear pattern! – user11249 Sep 16 '17 at 1:35
  • 3
    The relevant policy is be nice / the code of conduct, specifically the "no bigotry" part. Though it's not enforced in the manner I would prefer here (at least not in answers or comments, more so in questions; see also here where a flag on an answer that obviously violated policy was declined; it's sadly not the only example, and imho banning or warning trolls takes way too long or sometimes doesn't happen at all). – tim Sep 17 '17 at 10:52
  • 13
    That is not hate speech. – Chloe Dec 8 '17 at 4:55
  • @Chloe The edited version of the "hate speech case" is now quite different. – user5751924 Jan 4 '18 at 16:28
  • 9
    Are you sure you are fighting against "hate speech" and not "speech concerning subjects that you hate to be openly discussed"? While the question could have been answered in a more sensitive way, I really think that there are some differences in cultural values. Thus I don't see how describing on which issues there seems to be a serious values clash counts as "hate speech". – Shadow1024 Sep 20 '19 at 10:48

So what is being done about hate speech on politics SE?

Using that particular answer an example, downvoting is what is being done about it. Seems to be working in this example.

As for the poster of that answer, he has a particular POV and hasn't made that secret on this site. There are a lot of particular POVs on this site that one learns over a short amount of time mainly due to the low volume of participants on this site. I wouldn't say this site has any more or less "hate speech" than any other site, but a) I'd argue it's more noticeable due to the low volume here and b) perhaps more polarizing here simply due to the topic at hand (politics).

  • 8
    Down voting doesn't seem to work. According to his profile, he lost 18 from 9 downvotes, got 10 from an upvote on his post so he only lost 8. Plus he gained 20 from other sources today. So his rep isn't really hurt, and he doesn't care about peer pressure, since he deems everyone who downvotes to be at fault. (and little creeps.) <politics.stackexchange.com/users/14439/charlie?tab=reputation > – Braydon Sep 16 '17 at 1:23
  • 8
    @blip in what part of my answer do I incite hatred or violence? – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 20:09
  • 1
    @Charlie your pov tends to align with similar povs from groups that actively push hatred and violence. Are you explicitly doing that? I don't know. But I also can't blame people that see the parallels. – user1530 Sep 17 '17 at 20:12
  • 6
    @blip in that case, you are wrongfully identifying my answer as hate speech. You cannot reasonably label something hate speech based on assumption based on implicit meaning. And I simply said "Stay safe" as there was another terrorist attack the day of that question and I have a friend who was caught up in the Manchester attacks already. From where I'm standing the situation is very real. – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 20:16
  • 2
    @Charlie that you are constantly arguing this point is perhaps a sign that you could spend some time reflecting on your viewpoints. As for labeling you as hate speech, I didn't do anything of the sort in my answer here. I was merely responding to the OP's use of your question as an example. Whether or not your answer is universally agreed upon as hate speech, the community decided it wasn't a great answer. – user1530 Sep 17 '17 at 21:00
  • 7
    @blip that's fine, if you don't like my answer, you don't like my answer. Whilst slightly irritating, my major issue is how readily you have responded to this question here which clearly describes my well sourced answer as hate speech. Rather than disagree with the labeling as hate speech, you posted an answer. I'm also sorry to tell you I won't be going anywhere and won't be silenced by attempted bullying of this sort. – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:12
  • 4
    @Charlie 'well sourced' and 'facts' do not forgive anyone of making inferences that could easily be seen as sympathizing with groups that adhere to hate speech. Which is ironic, as that's exactly what you were trying to do with your answer. I'd suggest you step back a bit and look at what you wrote from a bigger perspective. – user1530 Sep 17 '17 at 21:14
  • 5
    @blip think about what you're saying. Telling people to stay safe is an inference of hate speech? You don't know what it's like living on the forefront of this. Come over here and spent a week living in Luton or Birmingham and let me know how you feel. There's 12 extremist mosques within 50 miles of where I live. – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:20
  • 4
    @Charlie Your "well sourced facts" contradict the source, as mentioned above. The source never claimed that many Muslims were extremists and never claimed to be factual proof. In fact the sited statistic has an asterisk by it to indicate that it is unreliable due to small sample size, and thus certainly not factual. You are spreading misinformation in order to instill fear of Muslims, and fear and hate are intrinsically linked. Nobody likes the proverbial monster under the bed. – Braydon Sep 18 '17 at 5:38
  • 6
    @Charlie False cautionary tales are the perfect vehicle to spread hate. People hate things they fear because they think they can harm them, and people hate people they fear because they believe them to be evil. You can use this as an excuse and claim to only be spreading cautionary information, but the reality is that you are spreading hate by another name. – Braydon Sep 18 '17 at 5:47
  • 8
    From what I read the poster is a "white nationalist" (ie a white supremacist). Downvoting should be for bad answers, not for answers that violate stackoverflow policy; That is what flags and moderators should be for. I think that this answer is borderline, but the problem that OP brings up is genuine and really does deserve an answer (OP should maybe add better examples). – tim Sep 18 '17 at 17:38
  • 5
    To add on @Braydon 's comment that downvotes do not work, that answer is now +4/-12 meaning that has netted a positive +16 reputation to the poster – Federico Sep 20 '17 at 13:34

Let's back off a bit and forget about the hate speech and focus just on the content of the answer. We immediately see that there's a bigger problem: it's not an answer to the question.

The question is pretty specific and quotes a source, which claims:

Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers, it emerged yesterday.

The answer doesn't address any of this at all. Instead it independently tries to prove that there are many "Muslim extremists" in the UK, but this isn't what the question was about at all.

In other words, it's a "magic eye answer":

enter image description here

If you stare at it long enough and look cross-eyed enough it sort of looks like an answer, but it's not really.

This on its own makes it a poor answer.

  • 4
    What part of my answer is not relevant to the number of extremists in the UK? Perhaps if the OP wanted a different answer they should have better defined "extremist". In any reasonable view, a person who sympathises with jihadist terrorists is an extremist but of course if the term extremist is not adequately defined then no answer could ever be sufficient. – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 20:06
  • 8
    @Charlie you've made it clear you side with white nationalism. Does that make you an extremist? That's using the same logic you are using. – user1530 Sep 17 '17 at 21:03
  • 4
    @blip it may do, I don't dispute that. I would classify my own views as extreme, as they are clearly outside of the mainstream. In the context of views on immigration into Britain, I am an extremist. In terms of views on terrorism, those who sympathise with terrorists are also extremists. – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:15
  • 1
    @blip though saying that, my views are only extreme from a liberal perspective. White nationalism isn't much of an extreme view here in England, especially within conservative or old labour constituencies – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:17
  • 3
    @Charlie I can't convince you of anything. You have your strong opinions and it's clear you are going to stick to them. That's fine. Just assume not everyone is going to agree with them. – user1530 Sep 17 '17 at 21:18
  • 7
    @Charlie "the number of extremists in the UK" was NOT the question. It was about a specific report which mentioned jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers. – user11249 Sep 17 '17 at 21:31
  • @blip that's all I ever expect mate – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:44
  • @Carpetsmoker the title is are there "23'000 extremists in the UK?" – Charlie Sep 17 '17 at 21:45
  • 7
    @Charlie So you did not bother to read the question beyond the title? Or the source it links? – user11249 Sep 17 '17 at 21:53

What you want is censorship

The only way to avoid "hate speech" answers is to ban asking questions (or engage in any kind of discussion) about :

  • Groups of people
  • Religions
  • Political movements
  • Individuals belonging to any group of people
  • Countries
  • Ideologies
  • Any other topic people may disagree on

You are assuming that any question criticizing anything from minorities or sharing information about something bad related to them is hate but, even if the data is false or it reaches a wrong conclusion, you should just point the flaws and move on.

Related: https://politics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4022/27240

  • 4
    This needs more upvotes IMO. Free speech should be the cornerstone of any community, and the concept of "hate speech" is too subjective to be applied fairly. – Hugo Zink Oct 4 '19 at 13:37
  • @LuisRico: The downvotes might have to do with the fact that your answer is ambiguous. Specifically, it's very easy read it as "we need censorship" if you don't bother reading the whole thing. What it's missing IMO is a one-line summary and/or a less provocative headline. – Denis de Bernardy Oct 6 '19 at 9:05
  • 4
    @DenisdeBernardy I downvoted for the assumption that people can't speak about groups of people without using hate speech; non-bigots are more than capable of doing that. But "criticizing minorities" is not what politics.SE is about. People can use their right to free speech to disparage minorities on 4chan or stormfront. But we at politics.SE cannot decide that the site-wide CoC doesn't apply here. – tim Oct 7 '19 at 17:04
  • 1
    @tim: my point entirely. what you said seems to basically echo what the last paragraph in the answer says -- and I assume not many down voters made it that far. (I certainly didn't before downvoting, and I'm waiting for Luis to improve the answer before I retract it.) – Denis de Bernardy Oct 7 '19 at 17:36
  • 3
    @tim no, you can't speak about minorities, the OP illustrates that. If you speak about any topic and your opinion is not popular enough, someone will get offended. Obviously criticizing minorities is off topic, and I do not condone attacking any group of people. But something like what the OP showed, cannot be censored just because you do not like the data. – Luis Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '19 at 7:16
  • 2
    Personally I don't think even real hate speech should be banned. It should be refuted, censoring an opinion leaves it unchallenged so it ends up spreading way more. – Luis Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '19 at 7:23
  • 1
    @DenisdeBernardy That's precisely my point, the alt-right rose in popularity because nobody engaged with them. Banning them from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube has not worked, it has only made them stronger. – Luis Reinstate Monica Oct 9 '19 at 7:15
  • 2
    @LuisRico: You have that the other way around I'm afraid. They gained traction because, instead of being the odd quack with a loud speaker at some road intersection, they suddenly had a platform and could engage with pretty much anyone. Allowing them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google search results is what hasn't worked. – Denis de Bernardy Oct 9 '19 at 7:58
  • 3
    @DenisdeBernardy But they are not allowed. They have been deplatforming them for quite a while now. And it's not just opinions, anything with a loose relation with an extremist group can be a dogwhistle and that should be censored as well. This is what drives people into these kind of movements, allowing them to express their ideology and then rebating their arguments in the open would work way better than acting like the inquisition and forcing them into echo chambers like 4chan that will radicalize them even more. – Luis Reinstate Monica Oct 9 '19 at 9:25
  • 1
    @LuisRico: (Purported) deplatforming has been occurring in the past few months only. – Denis de Bernardy Oct 9 '19 at 9:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .