Social media’s impact on mainstream media, and the way people communicate with one another and disseminate information, has become a subject of serious study for journalists, academics and policymakers alike. While it has been a significant equaliser as a vehicle by which the fundamental right to freedom of expression is guaranteed everyone irrespective of class, creed or geography, these very same platforms are also becoming spaces where—in the garb of free speech—misinformation and hate are able to flourish. In India, these spaces provide both tacit and overt sanction for rising incidents of majoritarian violence as identity-based, populist politics dominate the country’s landscape. This paper analyses the intersections between free speech and hate speech and the impact of majoritarian hate speech in the Indian context. It asks whether government agencies and individuals working to counter terrorism and violent extremism in India can bring majoritarian violence of this nature under their umbrella.

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