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Category Archives: Free Speech

Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?

Slate – I’ve fought for a free internet for 30 years. Here’s where I think we went wrong, and right. By  – “…I’ve come to believe our society should take reasonable steps to limit intentionally harmful speech, but I also find myself increasingly embracing a broader, more instrumentalist vision of freedom of speech than I typically championed in the 1990s. Back then, I was much more focused on encouraging tolerance and pluralism—the idea that an open, democratic society should be willing to let people say outrageous things, to the extent possible, because we ought to be strong enough in our democratic convictions to endure disturbing dissent. I still believe that, but here in 2020 I’m also haunted by the challenges we face everywhere in the world in this century, ranging from climate change to income inequality to the (not-unrelated) resurgence of populist xenophobia and even genocidal movements…”

2020 Edelman Trust Barometer

“The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call… Continue Reading

ICivics

“iCivics works to ensure every student in America receives a quality and engaging civic education and graduates from high school well prepared and enthusiastic for citizenship. With your support, that vision is within our reach. Today, more than 108,000 teachers and 6 million students in all 50 states utilize iCivics’ innovative and free online resources.… Continue Reading

Protecting the Legal Foundation of the Internet: 2019 in Review

EFF: “When someone says something unlawful online, they should be the one held responsible for it, not the website or platform where they said it. Section 230—the most important law protecting free speech online—reflects that common-sense principle. This year, EFF defended Section 230 in Congress, the courts, and on the Internet…” Continue Reading

The Decade Tech Lost Its Way

The New York Times – The Decade Tech Lost Its Way – An oral history of the 2010s – “When the decade began, tech meant promise — cars that could drive themselves, social networks that could take down dictators. It connected us in ways we could barely imagine. But somewhere along the way, the flaws of technology… Continue Reading

Journalists imprisoned in 2019

“The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal. Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of… Continue Reading

Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury

The Guardian UK – Blaze complying with ministry directive meant for schools harks back to Qin dynasty and Nazi Germany, critics say – “A county library in north-western China has been criticised for burning books in line with a nationwide cull of “illegal” or “improper” materials used in school libraries. Reports and photos of two women… Continue Reading

76 things you can do to boost civic engagement

Brookings: “The year 1776 was an auspicious year for democracy. The idea that a people could govern themselves was radical at the time. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that followed are for most Americans revered documents and a cornerstone of our democracy. Over the years, this idea of democratic republicanism has become central… Continue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2019 The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House – “Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment… Continue Reading

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally

Via @Jack – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey –  “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should… Continue Reading