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Buzzfeed uses a document and video cache to trace promotion of white nationalists and racist voices by Breitbart News, and the roles of Milo Yiannopoulos, its head and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, and its funders Robert and Rebekah Mercer. An attorney for Harvey Weinstein says he is preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times over its investigation outlining decades of sexual harassment cases involving the Hollywood mogul. The Attorney General orders the Justice Department to take the position in court cases that transgender people are not protected by civil rights law that bans workplace discrimination based on sex. Members of Congress reported to be considering drafting legislation that would force tech companies to disclose details on who buys political ads, more in line with transparency rules for TV networks. After three authors plan boycott of children’s book festival over Dr. Seuss Museum’s painted image of a Chinese character they see as reinforcing racial stereotypes, the museum says it will remove the mural because “This is what Dr. Seuss would have wanted us to do.’’ -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream
Newly unearthed emails and documents clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum—and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream.
BUZZFEED

Harvey Weinstein to Sue N.Y. Times, Says His Attorney
As a public figure, Weinstein will need to show actual malice to prevail in a defamation lawsuit against the Times. By discussing how the paper ignored eyewitness statements, his attorney appears to be priming the coming argument that the Times’ reporters recklessly disregarded truth.
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

In Shift, Justice Dept. Says Law Doesn’t Bar Transgender Discrimination
Sessions’s policy directive is the latest in a series of steps the Justice Department has taken to curtail the reach of civil rights laws. On his watch, the Civil Rights Division has also changed its position on whether Texas’ strict voter ID law was discriminatory and began a project to scrutinize affirmative action practices in university admissions.
NEW YORK TIMES

Lawmakers weigh pushing Facebook, Twitter to share who buys political ads
Cracking down on social media companies would allow lawmakers to show they are getting tough on preventing meddling in the 2018 midterms even before multiple investigations into Moscow’s 2016 interference conclude. For Republicans, it offers a potential opportunity to respond to Russia without hitting President Donald Trump.
POLITICO

Dr. Seuss museum will take down mural after authors threaten to boycott festival
The children’s authors, two of whom are Asian-American, were concerned the image could damage “not only Asian-American children, but also non-Asian kids who absorb this caricature and could associate it with all Asians or their Asian neighbors and classmates.”
BOSTON GLOBE

 
Global

The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent *PEN Case List
Israeli officials have accused social media companies of hosting and facilitating what they claim is Palestinian incitement. The poet Dareen Tatour, for instance, was arrested on October 2015 for publishing a poem about resistance to Israel’s 50-year-old military rule on her Facebook page.
OPEN DEMOCRACY

Hong Kong Free Press threatened for ‘spreading hatred’ against China
A statement from the Hong Kong Journalists Association reads, “These incidents have gone beyond disagreement over a media’s editorial line and should not be tolerated in Hong Kong where press freedom is promised by the Basic Law.”
IFEX

A Cry for Help from Serbia’s Independent Media
Independent outlets that have managed to survive in this environment face increasingly vicious verbal attacks from both government figures and progovernment competitors. Journalists who criticize the government are typically tarred as traitors, social degenerates, and tools of the mafia or foreign intelligence agencies.
FREEDOM HOUSE

Is Free Speech an ‘Empty Promise’ in Singapore? Activists Bristle After Police Detain Performance Artist
The incident has triggered criticism from social media users and civil society, particularly in the wake of other recent arrests of people engaging in public art and demonstrations.
GLOBAL VOICES

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