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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

The COVID Racial Data Tracker

“The COVID Racial Data Tracker advocates for, collects, publishes, and analyzes racial data on the pandemic across the United States. It’s a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. This project began when Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research, wrote a series of essays in The Atlantic about the urgent need to gather racial and ethnic demographic data to understand the outbreak and protect vulnerable communities. On April 12, 2020, we started collecting race and ethnicity data from every state that reported it. On April 15, we launched that dataset as the first iteration of the COVID Racial Data Tracker. We update this data twice per week…”

“COVID-19 is affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most. The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Together, we’re gathering the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States…”

Audit Finds Facebook’s Decisions Were ‘Setbacks for Civil Rights

The New York Times – “An independent audit faulted the social network for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive — potentially posing a threat to the November elections. Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and… Continue Reading

Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues

CRS report via LC – Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues, July 6, 2020: “The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN,while he was in the custody of law enforcement, and several other recent high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of police,have generated interest in legislation to reform… Continue Reading

A Plan to Make Police Data Open Source Started on Reddit

Wired – “…For years, researchers, journalists, and activists have turned to official records, from incident reports to misconduct complaints, as one window into police behavior in the United States. “The problem is that all of this data, although it’s public, is buried inside of these really crappy or antiquated public records portals,” says Kristin Tynski.… Continue Reading

Teachers face threats, books are banned as China pushes party line in Hong Kong schools

Washington Post: “As China’s Communist Party dismantles Hong Kong’s freedoms, teachers are facing pressure to toe Beijing’s line. Schools are emerging as ideological battlegrounds as officials seek to transform freethinking students into patriots loyal to the motherland through punishment, coercion, surveillance and propaganda-style education. “I feel like we have suddenly been put on the front… Continue Reading

How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance

MIT Technology Review – “Facebook and Twitter might have the bells and whistles, but the word processing software’s simplicity and accessibility have made it a winning tool… In just the last week, Google Docs has emerged as a way to share everything from lists of books on racism to templates for letters to family members… Continue Reading

How Infrared Images Could Be Part of Your Daily Life

The New York Times – “In a post-quarantine world, heat sensors could help spot sick people with elevated temperatures as they enter public places. But it’s not that simple. “A fever is one indicator that someone may be exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends temperature screenings in a variety of… Continue Reading

The U.S. Is Lagging Behind Many Rich Countries

The New York Times – These Charts Show Why. “The United States is different. In nearly every other high-income country, people have both become richer over the last three decades and been able to enjoy substantially longer lifespans. But not in the United States. Even as average incomes have risen, much of the economic gains… Continue Reading

Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism?

HBR – “…Given the growing weight of social media’s influence on society, the key question is whether social media will become a sentinel against systematic oppression and injustice, effectively posing a serious challenge to authoritarian regimes. In the case of China, while social media may not have the power to cause a regime change, it… Continue Reading

You Purged Racists From Your Website? Great, Now Get to Work

Wired: “The Covid-19 infodemic taught social media giants like YouTube and Reddit an important lesson: They can—and must—take action to control the content on their sites. For those who follow the politics of platforms, Monday’s great expulsion of malicious content creators was better late than never. For far too long, a very small contingent of… Continue Reading

Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench

“…In the first comprehensive accounting of judicial misconduct nationally, Reuters reviewed 1,509 cases from the last dozen years – 2008 through 2019 – in which judges resigned, retired or were publicly disciplined following accusations of misconduct. In addition, reporters identified another 3,613 cases from 2008 through 2018 in which states disciplined wayward judges but kept hidden from… Continue Reading