Radical Pluralism and Free Speech in Online Public Spaces: The Case of North Belgian Extreme Right Discourses

Progressive political movements and activists are not the only ones appropriating Web 2.0 as a way to construct independent public spaces and voice counter- hegemonic discourses. By looking at the other extreme of (post-)fascist movements, it will be shown that the internet also gives rise to anti-public spaces, voicing hatred and essentialist discourses. In this article, discourses of hate produced by North- Belgian (post-)fascist movements and activists will be analysed. Theoretically the analysis is informed by radical pluralism and the limits of freedom of speech in a strong democracy. The cases presented challenge the limits of freedom of speech and of radical pluralism and bring us to question whether being a racist is a democratic right, whether freedom of speech includes opinions and views that challenge basic democratic values.

Tags: Discourse Analysis, Extreme Right, Freedom of Expression