The verbalization of hate is not a new phenomenon. However, how epidemic hate speech spreads. What could be more obvious than investing a percentage of the state funds available worldwide for digital change in the humanization of digital linguistic coexistence?
Instead of systematically and globally suppressing the language of hate, inadequate resources are used to fight national and regional skirmishes. Diffuse platform rules, including overwhelmed moderators, block satire accounts on social media platforms, while misanthropes are allowed to broadcast. Politicians are insulted very badly – and courts judge this as a legitimate expression of opinion. And has the Network Enforcement Act enforced anything substantial in Germany?
Hate speech was and is the linguistic shadow of human cultural history. Only a few decades ago, when the process of civilization seemed to be well advanced, language got caught in the monstrous stranglehold of totalitarianism. The most terrible of all human catastrophes was preceded by a deformation of the language into hate-distorted, racist verbatim.
The brutalized diction of the Nazi dictatorship smashed the language of German idealism. Verbal recoding and hate speech prevailed in everyday life. The hate speech of our day is based on such linguistic contamination, on such toxic residues of ethnically and religiously degrading vocabulary.
The language of hatred causes the symmetry of existing relationships of recognition to collapse. Linguistic boundaries are crossed without hesitation, inhuman language derailments destabilize the discourse, the rhetorical effect triumphs.
And: hate speech metastasizes and is directed – for example from the far right – not only against those who allegedly threaten the West and their own monoculturally defined nation from outside, but also against those who claim to be "traitors to the people" for those seeking protection involved. Hate speech is by no means the only reason for the events in Chemnitz, Halle or the death of Walter Lübcke. But it would also be naive to say that an everyday life characterized by countless linguistic transgressions would have no preparatory effect for actions in which the deed transgresses the word.
Where language acts begin to become a risk of injury through language, competitive relationships break down between the right to freedom of expression and the need to protect human dignity. Ethics and morals are based on the recognition of human boundaries. The current problem: How do you still communicate across borders if even the US administration uses social media as a weapon of mass distribution? And who should watch over the compliance with the limit?
Instead of softly facelifting the First Amendment, the United States and most of its citizens are proud of their aging constitutional amendment from 1791, which protects free speech from restrictions. With a few exceptions, such as the direct linguistic threat to others, Free Speech has an almost unlimited special position in the United States. An attitude that is hardly digestible from the perspective of European understanding of culture and history.
Under these conditions, special linguistic deformations are possible, even open political lies can be raised at any time under the guise of free speech on "contributions to the discussion" and "opinions". Any extreme position can be safely infiltrated into the discourse as "democratic participation" – and there have long been populist forces in Europe that use misgivings about falling back behind the United States to make the unspeakable broadcastable.