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Influence of Political Party Affiliation and Level of Education on Perception of Hate Speech in Nigeria (Published)

This paper investigated the influence of political party affiliation and level of education on perception of hate speech in Port Harcourt Metropolis of Nigeria. Using the quantitative design and the Speech Act theoretical framework, eighty (80) respondents for political party affiliation and one hundred and seventy two (172) respondents for levels of education were examined with a hypothetical statement: “I charge you to continue to challenge corruption and its vices, and stop government who institutionalized them from coming back to power”. Their responses showed distinctions in their perception and knowledge of hate speech acceding that party affiliation and academic exposure influence the assertion of what is and what is not a hate speech. The research therefore concludes that hate speech, which is any spoken words that are offensive, insulting, and/or threatening to an individual or group based on a particular attribute of that person or persons being targeted, is a social problem which is interpreter-specific and lacks a definite or precise definition. The paper recommends enthronement of peace strategies in Nigeria such as equity in distribution of infrastructure, appointments into political and public offices, among others.

Keywords: affiliation, graduates, hate speech, non-graduates; Port Harcourt, party