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Category Archives: Censorship

So What Is Going On With the Supreme Court in 2024?

Slate [read 5 articles free before paywalled] – “If you’re interested in understanding more about what the high court is, how it functions, and why it seems to have recently lurched to the right, start here…The 5 Circuit Court of Appeals covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Trump appointed six judges to this bench, some of whom are among “the most extreme jurists in the country,” as Stern explained. Many of the Supreme Court’s most consequential cases of this term came from the 5th Circuit, including the gun control case U.S. v. Rahimi. There have been moments where even the Supreme Court’s conservative justices have rebuked the 5th Circuit. Just this year, Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court’s most extreme conservatives, penned a majority opinion that completely rejected a ruling by the 5th Circuit that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unconstitutional. And this year, the Supreme Court also rejected FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a case sent up from the 5th Circuit that sought to eliminate access to the abortion drug mifepristone…”

Book bans in political context: Evidence from US schools

Book bans in political context: Evidence from US schools. PNAS Nexus, Volume 3, Issue 6, June 2024, pgae197, https://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgae197 “In the 2021–2022 school year, more books were banned in US school districts than in any previous year. Book banning and other forms of information censorship have serious implications for democratic processes, and censorship has become… Continue Reading

Russia Clones Wikipedia, Censors It, Bans Original

404 Media: “Russia has replaced Wikipedia with a state-sponsored encyclopedia that is a clone of the original Russian Wikipedia but which conveniently has been edited to omit things that could cast the Russian government in poor light. Real Russian Wikipedia editors used to refer to the real Wikipedia as Ruwiki; the new one is called… Continue Reading

Most Americans say a free press is highly important to society

“A large majority of Americans see the freedom of the press as highly important to the well-being of society. But many express concerns about potential restrictions on press freedoms in the United States – and say that political and financial interests already have a lot of influence on news organizations. These findings come from a… Continue Reading

Red states threaten librarians with prison as blue states work to protect them

Washington Post [read free]: “…library-friendly measures are being outpaced by bills in mostly red states that aim to restrict which books libraries can offer and threaten librarians with prison or thousands in fines for handing out “obscene” or “harmful” titles. At least 27 states are considering 100 such bills this year, three of which have… Continue Reading

Librarians fear new penalties, even prison, as activists challenge books

AP: “…Across the country, book challenges and bans have soared to the highest levels in decades. Public and school-based libraries have been inundated with complaints from community members and conservative organizations such as as Moms for Liberty. Increasingly, lawmakers are considering new punishments — crippling lawsuits, hefty fines, and even imprisonment — for distributing books… Continue Reading

Louisiana Bill Would Criminalize Librarians, Libraries Who Join American Library Association

Bookriot: “Despite the fact that librarians are among the most trusted professionals, per data acquired in several studies of parents on the perceptions of the profession, lawmakers across the country continue to infantilize and criminalize library workers. The 2024 legislative session has been particularly eager to capitalize on the rhetoric from the far right on… Continue Reading

Public Libraries Saw 92 Percent Increase In Number of Titles Targeted for Censorship Over 2022

“The number of titles targeted for censorship surged 65 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching the highest levels ever documented by the American Library Association (ALA). The new numbers released today show efforts to censor 4,240 unique book titles* in schools and libraries. This tops the previous high from 2022, when 2,571 unique titles… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court is about to decide the future of online speech

The Verge: “Social media companies have long made their own rules about the content they allow on their sites. But a pair of cases set to be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday will test the limits of that freedom, examining whether they can be legally required to host users’ speech. The cases, Moody… Continue Reading

Émigrés Are Creating an Alternative China, One Bookstore at a Time

The New York Times [no paywall]: “From Tokyo and Chiang Mai, Thailand, to Amsterdam and New York, members of the Chinese diaspora are building public lives that are forbidden in China and training themselves to be civic-minded citizens — the type of Chinese the Communist Party doesn’t want them to be. They are opening Chinese… Continue Reading

Tools for Thinking About Censorship

ReactorMag – “One price of free speech is eternal humility, recognizing that none of us is immune to becoming a tool of censorship if we fail to recognize its manipulative tactics. Was it a government action, or did they do it themselves because of pressure?” This is inevitably among our first questions when news breaks… Continue Reading