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UN human rights chief condemns Trump’s attacks on the media at Phoenix rally, noting that these comments have global repercussions. A new Fox News poll finds that 69 percent of Republican voters believe the news media poses a greater threat than white supremacists. House hearing on net neutrality, originally set for September 7, has been postponed after tech companies declined to publicly commit to appearing. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
UN Human Rights Chief Condemns Trump’s Attacks on Media
The rebuke by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, was an unusually forceful criticism of a head of state by a UN official. The reaction was to Trump’s comments at a rally in Phoenix, during which he spoke of “crooked media deceptions” in reports of the violent clashes at Charlottesville.
NEW YORK TIMES
Poll: GOP voters say news media poses greater threat to U.S. than white supremacists
In the same poll, 70 percent of all respondents said Trump hates the news media more than he hates white supremacists. Participants were also polled on Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville; 72 percent of Republicans approved of Trump’s response to the violence, while 91 percent of Democrats disapproved.
U.S. House panel scraps Sept. 7 net neutrality hearing
Republican lawmakers had hoped executives from tech companies and internet providers would testify publicly; none committed to testify, and many were reluctant to do so privately. The FCC has been moving to scrap rules implemented under the Obama administration that regulated broadband internet like a utility.
Google reportedly pressured think tank into firing critic
Shortly after Google was fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU for manipulating search results, the New America Foundation, which is backed by Google, posted a statement praising the penalty. Reportedly, this led to pressure on the NAF to fire the critic.
How ‘Doxxing’ Became a Mainstream Tool in the Culture Wars
The online hunt to reveal extremists has raised concerns about unintended consequences. A few individuals have been misidentified in recent weeks, and some worry that the stigma of being outed as an extremist can only reinforce that behavior in people who could still be talked out of it.
NEW YORK TIMES
Suddenly it’s open season on the press in Cambodia
In just a few weeks, Cambodia’s media landscape has deteriorated dramatically. For years, media outlets have tackled politically sensitive topics, but as 2018’s elections loom, Prime Minister Hun Sen seems to have tired of their dogged reporting on corruption, logging, and human rights. Journalists are now facing a major crackdown.
Studios of controversial Russian film director assailed
Police say they are searching for assailants who attempted to set fire to a building housing the studios of Alexei Uchitel, whose film about the last czar’s affair with a ballerina has drawn criticism from religious and nationalist figures who see it as blasphemy against the emperor, a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.
UN condemns Egypt’s widening ‘assault on free speech’
The sites shut down or blocked include that of news organizations such as Al Jazeera, Mada Masr and Al Watan, as well as the websites of human rights groups, including Reporters Without Borders and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.
Denmark and Sweden boost defense ties to fight Russian cyber-attacks
The two countries seek to counter what they described as a growing threat, including from fake news campaigns and cyber-attacks. Stockholm’s Institute of International Affairs accused Russia of using fake news, false documents, and disinformation in a coordinated campaign to influence public opinion and decision-making in Sweden.
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