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Top congressional Democrats call on Facebook and Twitter to take urgent look at role of Russian bots in the growing online campaign to release a classified memo. Facebook’s new technique to have users rate trustworthiness of news sources is a two-sentence, 15-word survey. Senior White House advisor at Department of Homeland Security who worked on President Trump’s Muslim travel ban found to have repeatedly publically denigrated Islam. Killing of two 15-year-olds in latest school shooting noted for hardly penetrating the nation’s saturated news cycle. —Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Congressional Democrats call on Facebook, Twitter to urgently investigate and combat Russian bots and trolls
Top congressional Democrats called on Facebook and Twitter to urgently examine the role of Russian bots and trolls in the growing online campaign to release a classified memo about allegations that the FBI mishandled a classified surveillance request as it probed Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign.

This Is Facebook’s News Survey
Last week, Facebook said its News Feed would prioritize links from publications its users deemed “trustworthy” in an upcoming survey. Turns out that survey isn’t a particularly lengthy or nuanced one. In fact, it’s just two questions.

DHS senior adviser who has worked on travel ban claimed that “true” Muslims can’t peacefully “coexist” or “mingle with other faiths”
Frank Wuco, a senior Department of Homeland Security adviser who has worked on President Trump’s travel ban, repeatedly warned audiences during his media appearances that Muslims are dangerous because their core faith purportedly instructs them that they can’t “coexist peacefully with other religions.”

School Shooting in Kentucky Is Nation’s 11th of Year. It’s Jan. 23.
The scene in Benton, Kentucky, was the worst so far in 2018: Two 15-year-old students were killed and 18 more people were injured. But it was one of at least 11 shootings on school property recorded since January 1, and roughly the 50th of the academic year.

A Conservative Case for Identity Politics
“In college, I took a class in logic. There I learned that one should never reject an argument because of the characteristics of the person making it. Instead, one should assess the argument itself on its rational merits. And while I agree that the power of an argument should not depend on the person making it, nonetheless, it does.”


‘Me Too,’ Chinese Women Say. Not So Fast, Say the Censors.
Government censors in China are trying to hobble the #MeToo campaign, blocking the use of phrases like “anti-sexual harassment” on social media and deleting online petitions calling for greater protections for women. And officials have warned some activists against speaking out, suggesting that they may be seen as traitors colluding with foreigners if they persist.

There’s a decades-old law threatening digital freedom in DR Congo
The DR Congo has repeatedly cut off internet services to its more than 83 million people, blocked or throttled social media outlets, and surgically targeted services like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, and Skype in order to hamper communication among protesters while allowing businesses like banks to operate.

Morocco’s go-it-alone news outlets feel government squeeze
Yabiladi, which translates to “Oh, my country,” along with hundreds of other news sites, is in danger of being shut down under a new media law that imposes licensing requirements. Critics allege that the new law restricts freedom of expression and curtails critical coverage under the guise of making journalism more professional.

Journalists Arrested in Turkey Over Syrian Military Operation Dissent
A crackdown on dissent over Turkey’s military operation against a Kurdish militia in the Syrian Afrin enclave is increasingly targeting journalists. Police detained four journalists in dawn raids Monday and Tuesday, over postings on social media in relation to the Afrin operation.

Uzbek Journalist Won’t Be Deported From Russia, For Now
Russia’s Supreme Court has canceled a deportation order for Ali Feruz, an Uzbek citizen who works for the independent Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The Supreme Court partially accepted Feruz’s appeal and ruled that the journalist’s case must be sent for revision.

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