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Category Archives: Free Speech

Libraries are under attack and so are library workers

Fast Company: “Libraries are increasingly being targeted by local and state legislators and protestors trying to ban books and block LGBTQ content. How is that affecting the people who work in them? Scratch nearly any kind of story—political, social, economic, cultural, and so on—and you’ll find a labor story. No matter what’s happening, whether it’s… Continue Reading

Tennessee’s House expels 2 of 3 Democrats over guns protest

AP: “In an extraordinary act of political retaliation, Tennessee Republicans on Thursday expelled two Democratic lawmakers from the state Legislature for their role in a protest calling for more gun control in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Nashville. A third Democrat was narrowly spared by a one-vote margin. The split votes drew… Continue Reading

The Socio-Economic Argument for the Human Right to Internet Access

The Socio-Economic Argument for the Human Right to Internet Access, Politics Philosophy & Economics (2023). DOI: 10.1177/1470594X231167597 “People around the globe are so dependent on the internet to exercise socioeconomic human rights such as education, health care, work, and housing that online access must now be considered a basic human right, a new study… Continue Reading

It’s Their Content, You’re Just Licensing it

The New York Times: “Amid recent debates over several publishers’ removal of potentially offensive material from the work of popular 20th-century authors — including Roald Dahl, R.L. Stine and Agatha Christie — is a less discussed but no less thorny question about the method of the revisions. For some e-book owners, the changes appeared as… Continue Reading

As Book Bans Gain Favor, Some Say Libraries Could Go

Pew Stateline: “Amid the national uproar about whether to allow students access to a wide variety of books, the superintendent of a Virginia school district this week proposed a sweeping solution: Get rid of school libraries altogether. Mark Taylor, who leads the district in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, suggested at a recent school board meeting that… Continue Reading

Libraries Need More Freedom to Distribute Digital Books

The Atlantic: “Last week, a district court judge in New York ruled on Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive, a case that is likely to shape how we read books on smartphones, tablets, and computers in the future. Although the case hinged on technical details of copyright law, the source of the conflict is… Continue Reading

American Library Association reports record number of demands to censor library books and materials in 2022

“The American Library Association (ALA) today released new data documenting 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago [the 2022 data compiled by ALA represents only a snapshot of book censorship throughout… Continue Reading

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan Issues Sweeping Subpoenas to Universities Studying Misinformation

Pro Publica: “In the subpoenas, Jordan asserted that the schools may have contributed to the Biden administration’s “censorship regime by advising on so-called misinformation. House Republicans have sent letters to at least three universities and a think tank requesting a broad range of documents related to what it says are the institutions’ contributions to the… Continue Reading

Freedom in the World 2023

Freedom House – Marking 50 Years in the Struggle for Democracy – Key Findings Global freedom declined for the 17th consecutive year.  Moscow’s war of aggression led to devastating human rights atrocities in Ukraine. New coups and other attempts to undermine representative government destabilized Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Peru, and Brazil. Previous years’ coups and ongoing… Continue Reading

Section 230 Won’t Protect ChatGPT

Lawfare, Matt Perault: “The emergence of products fueled by generative artificial intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT will usher in a new era in the platform liability wars. Previous waves of new communication technologies—from websites and chat rooms to social media apps and video sharing services—have been shielded from legal liability for content posted on their… Continue Reading

Annual Transparency Index Links Corruption with Increased Violence Globally

“The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released yesterday by Transparency International, concludes that 95% of countries have made little to no progress fighting corruption since 2017.  This 21st edition of the index ranks 180 countries and territories by experts’ perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very… Continue Reading

What the First Amendment really says – 4 basic principles of free speech in the US

Via LLRX – What the First Amendment really says – 4 basic principles of free speech in the US – Lynn Greenky, Associate Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University delves into Elon Musk’s claim that he believes in free speech no matter what. He calls it a bulwark against tyranny in America and promises… Continue Reading