Trump continues to stumble and backtrack in response to torrential criticism of his approach toward Putin and Russia. White House reporters show rare display of solidarity to get their questions answered by an administration that ducks and weaves. Facebook vows to remove misinformation that could lead to violence, responding to uproar over the platforms role in spreading inciting messages in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India. Meanwhile Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sends shockwave by suggesting in an interview that he thinks Holocaust denial represents a genuine mistake. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer


The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Amid Harsh Criticism, Trump Tries a Tougher Tone on Russia
Trump spent a second day managing the political fallout from his widely criticized meeting with Putin, shifting stances, and mopping up what the White House said were misstatements. “The president is wrong,” said GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Reporters, Facing a Hostile White House, Try a New Tactic: Solidarity
An unusual show of solidarity at a White House press briefing between rival journalists seemed to signal a new approach by the press corps toward an administration that regularly uses briefings to deride, and divide, the news media.

Facebook Will Begin Taking Down Fake News Intended to Encourage Violence
Under the new Facebook policy, text and image items that are flagged which have been created or shared with the purpose of immediately “contributing to or exacerbating violence or physical harm” are to be removed.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Remarks on Holocaust Denial ‘Irresponsible’
Zuckerberg has been criticized by for suggesting Holocaust denial should be allowed on Facebook because it could be unintentional. He later retracted his remarks “I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”

Educators Reject Censorship, Encourage Student Exploration of ‘Problematic’ Literature of the Past
Communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending. But some educators are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the past and the present.


Myanmar Reuters Reporter Says He Was Hooded, Deprived of Sleep *PEN Case List
Two Reuters journalists in Myanmar were hooded and deprived of sleep after they were arrested while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims. Human Rights Watch said using sleep deprivation to obtain information is banned under law.

U.K. ‘Concerned’ Over Hong Kong’s Plan to Ban Pro-Independence National Party
The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said they “note with concern” the Hong Kong government’s plans to prohibit the continued operation of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party.

Myanmar’s Artists Reflect on Seventy Years of History in Seminal Exhibition
Myanmar’s artists have never reflected on history in this way before, because it has never been permitted. It is the first time that major artists have been given such a public platform in their own country to reflect the past openly, without censorship.

Blockchain is Helping to Circumvent Censorship in China
Blockchain is an open-source, public, distributed computing technology. Transactions are non-retractable and generate distributed copies of themselves within the network, which ensures permanent documentation and public accessibility.

U.S. Professor Fired from Chinese University After Criticizing Communist Government’s Censorship
Christopher Balding has lost his job at a Chinese university after criticizing the communist party’s censorship policies. “You do not work [here] without knowing the risks… China has reached a point where I do not feel safe being a professor.”

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