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Global debate about regulation of social media platforms raises questions for United States and its commitment to free speech. Criminal charges against three University of Arizona students, stemming from protest against Border Patrol on campus, are dropped. ‘Morning Joe’ hosts suggest that members of the media should boycott White House officials who repeatedly lie. After student journalists are barred from ‘open press event’ with Betsy DeVos, they pen an editorial critiquing the exclusion of students from a discussion about education. -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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


It’s U.S. vs. World as Big Tech Faces Specter of Limiting Speech Online
Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and India have adopted or are considering laws that require stricter content moderation by tech platforms. But none of them need to work around the culture of free speech protections, embodied by the First Amendment, in the United States.

Charges Dropped for University of Arizona Students Who Protested Border Patrol
Charges have been dropped against three University of Arizona students who participated in a Border Patrol protest in March that went viral and became a lightning rod in the national discussion about campus free speech.

‘Morning Joe’ Hosts Suggest Media Should Boycott White House Aides ‘Who Repeatedly Lie’
“Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski suggested media outlets should boycott White House aides “who repeatedly lie.” Brzezinski on the MSNBC show specifically pointed to White House press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders, saying that items uncovered in special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report prove Sanders has lied.

High School Journalists Were Barred from a Betsy DeVos Event. So They Took Her to Task in an Editorial.
“Unable to document the event, or query DeVos in person, [the students] set about investigating the circumstances of her private appearance at the public community college. Ultimately, they penned an editorial flaying the education secretary and the Kentucky governor, accusing them of paying lip service to the needs of students while excluding them from the conversation.”


Sri Lankan Government Blocks Social Media and Imposes Curfew Following Deadly Blasts
The Sri Lankan government blocked access to Facebook and other social-networking sites Sunday after suicide attacks killed more than 290 people, a move meant to stop misinformation from inciting further violence in a country where online mistruths have fomented deadly ethnic unrest.

The 2019 Havana Biennial Is a Smokescreen for Government Censorship
“Building on an existing body of already onerous laws and regulations, Decree 349 is the cruelest effort to date by Cuban officials to regulate culture and control a new generation of independent and globally connected artists.”

After Years of Repression, Ethiopia’s Media Is Free—and Fanning the Flames of Ethnic Tension
The country has imprisoned U.S.-educated journalist Eskinder Nega multiple times, most recently for six years. But under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, he and some dozen other jailed journalists have been released and are free to write.

‘We Want to Feel Free’: At These 4 Fringe Galleries in Moscow, Artists Are Avoiding Government Censors
“The post-Soviet promise of democracy has withered over the past three decades. But if the artists Russia has produced in this time are any indication, the urge for political accountability and free expression hasn’t.”

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