Ireland
Ireland iStock

Ireland announced this week it will enact legislation aimed at curbing online hate speech.

Irish Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that the Incitement to Hatred and Hate Crime Bill will strengthen the ability of authorities to secure hate crime convictions, Irish Central reported.

Hate speech in Ireland is currently under the purview of the 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act. McEntee described that law as “forward thinking for its time” but lamented that only 50 convictions have occurred since that time.

The new law will increase the scope of what constitutes a hate crime by creating new categories and expanding existing categories of offences using eight protected characteristics.

“We all have a right to feel safe and to be safe but for somebody to feel unsafe simply because of who they are, so their race, their religion, the color of their skin, and their sexual orientation, it’s not a society that I want to live in, and it’s not what we should be tolerating," McEntee said.

McEntee added that the new legislation will target “online hateful content” and that social media companies are committed to enforcing the new legislation.

The new law will include a threshold for what is considered criminal incitement to hatred, including intent or recklessness.