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Prof Spoonley, pro-vice-chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University, has extensively research immigration, diversity, the extreme Right and hate speech.
He recently chaired a government agency group on the "extremely challenging issue'' of hate speech.
His talk on April 4, "Hate Speech in the Age of the Internet: Challenges for All of Us'', is organised by Queenstown's Catalyst Trust.
It will cover questions such as: What qualifies as hate speech and who decides? What does it do to respectful and positive relations among our communities? Can it be controlled, and if so, how?
"When I began to research the issue and its extent, I was appalled at how much there was and the degree to which racial and religious vilification played a part,'' Prof Spoonley said in literature advertising the talk.
"I have studied anti-Semitism but what struck me was how extensive Islamophobic comments were, including from New Zealanders.
"And I was also struck by how particular groups - ethnic/religious minorities, youth - were impacted. The Christchurch terrorist attack has brought the significance of all this home.''
The talk is atThe Rees Hotel, Queenstown, on April 4, 6pm-7.30pm.