Xarabank host Peppi Azzopardi was the first Maltese personality to share snippets of the hate speech he regularly receives as part of a new Times of Malta #stophate campaign.

The campaign is aimed at tackling the proliferation of hate speech and the dangerous discourse that has swamped social media.

The project also seeks to raise awareness on the impact hate speech can have on its recipients, and the responsibilities that come with freedom of speech.

Mr Azzopardi, who is well-known for his pro-integration views, said his inbox was regularly flooded with hateful messages, particularly when his popular discussion programme features migrants and multiculturalism.

“You like these migrants, until a couple of them get their hands on your wife – unless they’ve already started,” Mr Azzopardi read from a message he had recently seen through social media.  

Read: Online hate speech growing fast, but many Maltese don't know they are breaking the law

Hate speech in Malta is a major issue. Research shows that hate speech is widespread and that under-reporting is a contributing factor to its proliferation.

It is also clear that hate speech laws are often misinterpreted and underused.

The Times of Malta campaign will feature other personalities reading out the hate messages leveled out at them on social media.

Read: #Stophate project aims to clamp down on Malta's online hate speech

Have you been a victim of hate speech? Send us an email on mynews@timesofmalta.com