Replete with expletives, the insults aimed at Godfrey Farrugia are often sexist and portray him as a henpecked man who should give up on politics.
The Democratic Party leader is often in the line of fire by many who resort to chauvinistic rhetoric, saying he should be wearing a skirt, or doing chores some believe should only be associated with women.
The Democratic Party MP and former Health Minister shared some of the hate speech messages he often 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.
Dr Farrugia and his partner MP Marlene Farrugia are continuously at the receiving end of insults or threats in various forms, including letters, photo montages and Facebook messages.
However, some messages are more sinister.
In one letter, the couple was told that although the murderers of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia were behind bars, the Farrugias should be on their guard as there were several people who were “willing to kill their mother for money”.
In one image, Dr Farrugia was depicted with a noose around his neck, while in a separate message he was urged to hang himself.
“There is nothing wrong with having different opinions, however, we are all obliged to respect each other’s opinions,” the MP said.
“Threats and insults do not only harm the victim, but also the perpetrator, as the insults erode their own dignity.”
The Times of Malta campaign will feature other personalities reading out the hate messages levelled out at them on social media.
Have you been a victim of hate speech? Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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