Articles and Interviews


Hate speech: A dilemma for journalists the world over

In Ethics in the News, a publication of the Ethical Journalism Network.


Butuh Partisipasi Politik Lawan Hate Spin

Interview with Media Indonesia (in Bahasa Indonesia). – 3 May 2017.


Trump’s Muslim ban may have already served its hate-mongering purpose

Defeat in court has not stopped the Islamophobia network behind the plan from gaining the public space it craves to air its fringe views, which may well be its primary aim. My op-ed in the South China Morning Post, 28 February 2017. Published earlier in Open Democracy.


The Global Playbook of the Extreme Right

Interview with Dhanya Addanki, Associate Web Editor, Sojourners. – Sojourners, 16 February 2017.


ICA plenary 2016_Page_50
T-shirts, songs and social media are parts of the repertoires of pro-democratic social movements—but are also used effectively for hate propaganda. See “Communicating with Power”.


Love didn’t trump hate: intolerance in the campaign and beyond

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election defied more than the polls; it also challenged feel-good assumptions about the inevitable triumph of progressive democratic ideals. US Election Analysis, published by Bournemouth University.


How offence taking became a political weapon

Hate spin relies on instincts that are as old as human community: find solidarity and security with your in-group, and protect yourself against out-groups.”

– New Humanist, 2 November 2016


Rescuing democracy from the harms of hate speech

The tale of two places of worship, in the United States and Indonesia, suggests that fighting actual discrimination is more important than silencing hate speech. Published in OpenDemocracy.Net, Nov 1, 2016. A version of this article was published by the Jakarta Post, Nov 4, 2016.


The curious power of hate propaganda in open societies

Even strong democracies with press freedom and a vibrant marketplace of ideas are susceptible to misinformation that instigates intimidation, discrimination and violence against vulnerable groups. Published in, Oct 24, 2016. Also carried by Alternet and The Wire.


Regulating ‘Hate Spin’: The Limits of Law in Managing Religious Incitement and Offense

International Journal of Communication 10: 2955-2972.


Managing Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia: How Insult Laws Backfire

City University of Hong Kong Southeast Asia Research Centre Working Paper Series 175.


Look who’s “Communicating with Power”

International Communication Association 2016 Opening Plenary, June 9, 2016, Fukuoka


Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and press responsibility

When a newsmaker habitually peddles lies defaming an entire community, journalists should check the facts before handing him a megaphone.


Legal quandaries in combating hate propaganda

Both under-regulation of harmful speech and over-regulation of insult occur side by side. My talk at the Freedom of Expression in a Digital Age conference, 21 April 2015 in Delhi.


Regulating hate speech: how not to do it

You know hate speech is a challenge when even Nobel Peace Prize laureates look the other way.


Interview at Bellagio Center

My early research was conducted during a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in November 2011.


Why hate speech doesn’t always require the red card

The internet has allowed individuals to share ideas like never before. That, unfortunately, includes some thoughts that would have been better kept leashed in the backyards of people’s minds.