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Category Archives: Free Speech

8 challenges for open government posed by emerging technology

Sunlight Foundation: 8 challenges for open government posed by emerging technology – “As 2018 begins, the big tent of open government holds both promise and peril, as nationalism, populism, low trust in institutions, and voter anger and apathy put years of gains at risk. We continue to see meaningful ways for better laws and policies to enable more open, accountable, ethical and effective governance at every level of government though the civic uses of technology, but it would be disingenuous to see the present through rosy glasses. (We watch Black Mirror, too.) 2017 was a bad year for Internet freedom, from the repeal of net neutrality in the USA to censorship, shutdowns, surveillance, and the poisoning of civic discourse online…We expect to confront fresh challenges posed by emerging technologies as well, making sense of how sunshine laws should adjust to novel context. In no particular order, here are eight areas that the press, public and governments have asked us about in recent months, with some thoughts about how lawmakers and regulators should adjust…”

Wired – The Golden Age of Free Speech?

It’s the [Democracy-Poisoning] Golden Age of Free Speech: “..In today’s networked environment, when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible. This should be the golden age of free speech. And sure, it is a golden age of free speech—if you can… Continue Reading

Americans See More News Bias; Most Can’t Name Neutral Source

Gallup News: “Americans’ perceptions of news media bias have increased significantly over the past generation. Thirty-two percent believe the news media are careful to separate fact from opinion, well below the 58% who held this view in 1984. Meanwhile, 66% currently agree that most news media do not do a good job of letting people… Continue Reading

Freedom in the World 2018 Democracy in Crisis

Freedom House – Freedom in the World 2018, Democracy in Crisis: “Democracy is in retreat globally and, some say, in the United States. Exacerbating the democratic backslide are authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China, which have increased both repression at home and efforts to export instability abroad. On the home front, indifference toward democratic… Continue Reading

LIS News – Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

LIS NEWS – Can you believe it’s almost 2018? That means it’s time to look back at some of the notable library-related stories from the past year. 10. Librarians Fight Fake News The problems with fake news caused many of us to revamp our web evaluation handouts into guides for spotting bogus information sources. 9.… Continue Reading

Crossing the Line: What Counts as Online Harassment?

Americans agree that certain behaviors constitute online harassment, but they are more divided on others – “Pew Research Center surveys have found that online harassment is a common phenomenon in the digital lives of many Americans, and that a majority of Americans feel harassment online is a major problem. Even so, there is considerable debate… Continue Reading

The rise of female whistleblowers

The rise of female whistleblowers. Oxford Bibliographies. Andrea Hickerson. January 1, 2018. [Andrea Hickerson is the Director of the School of Communication and an Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.] “Until recently, I firmly believed whistleblowers would increasingly turn to secure, anonymizing tools and websites, like WikiLeaks, to share their data rather than take… Continue Reading

Impact of Decision to Roll Back Net Neutrality

On December 14, 2017 the FCC voted to “roll back the 2015 rules that banned internet service providers from prioritizing certain internet traffic over others….[this has ended the] difference between a free and open online experience, and one where corporations dictate what you can see, and how fast you can see it. To understand the… Continue Reading

Video: How the Court System Is Abused to Chill Activist Speech

EFF: “One of the most pernicious forms of censorship in modern America is the abuse of the court system by corporations and wealthy individuals to harass, intimidate, and silence their critics. We use the term “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” more commonly known as a “SLAPP,” to describe this phenomenon. With a SLAPP, a malicious… Continue Reading

Jameel Jaffer: Government Secrecy in the Age of Information Overload

“Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and former Deputy Legal Director for the ACLU, delivered the tenth annual Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on October 17,  2017, entitled “Government Secrecy in the Age of Information Overload.” Following is a… Continue Reading

The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America

Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have; Most Have Views They’re Afraid to Share “Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has done more to silence important discussions our society needs to have. A little more than a quarter (28%) instead believe that political correctness has done more to… Continue Reading

Carter Journalism Institute Launches “First Amendment Watch” to Highlight, Analyze Threats to Freedom of Expression

“The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has launched First Amendment Watch —an online resource that goes beyond the headlines to provide much-needed coverage and context to the debate over freedom of expression. NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has launched First Amendment Watch—an online resource that goes beyond the headlines to provide much-needed coverage and… Continue Reading