Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, observed 18 June:
Hate speech is used to stoke fear and division, often for political gain, and at immense cost to communities and societies. It incites violence, exacerbates tensions, and impedes efforts to foster mediation and dialogue. It is one of the warning signs of genocide and other atrocity crimes. Hate speech is often aimed at vulnerable groups, reinforcing discrimination, stigma and marginalization. Minorities, women, refugees, migrants, and people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity are frequent targets. Social media platforms can amplify and spread hate speech at lightning speed. …

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