Hate speech is a general term used to describe the use of language in a manner intended to incite hatred or contempt towards some group of people, typically an ethnic group or sexual minority. It may also denote any idea held to be hateful or contemptuous in effect, regardless of its original intent. In this wider sense, it may serve to suppress views deemed unfavorable to a person or group.
Some American universities have speech codes that prohibit the expression of certain ideas. Many speakers have opposed such speech codes, claiming they constitute a new orthodoxy of political correctness and represent an erosion of the freedom of speech guaranteed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.