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Major New York Times investigation details how Facebook denied Russian information manipulation efforts, even as proof thereof was mounting, and waged its own disinformation campaign to blame George Soros for fomenting protest against the platform and discredit critics as anti-Semitic. Preliminary ruling expected today on CNN lawsuit to recover Acosta’s press pass. Government has asserted that it has absolute discretion to control press access to the White House. Florida recount may hinge on treatment of signatures, which represent a very different form of expression in the digital age than they used to. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Delay, Deny, and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis
As evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda, and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg stumbled. They ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. When they were exposed, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem. When that failed, Facebook went on the attack.

Judge in CNN v. Trump Case Says He Will Rule on Thursday
The first hearing in CNN and Jim Acosta’s federal lawsuit against President Trump and several top White House aides ended with the judge saying that he would rule on Thursday. CNN and Acosta filed the suit on Tuesday. The case was assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee.

Trump Seeks to Land Blow against Media in Court Fight with CNN
Donald Trump sought to land a massive blow in his long-fought battle against the news media, with administration lawyers asserting in court that the president could bar “all reporters” from the White House complex for any reason he sees fit.

In Florida Recount, Sloppy Signatures May Disqualify Thousands of Votes
Zina Rodriguez was shocked when her mail-in ballot in Florida was rejected because her signature did not match the one on record with elections officials. When she protested at the Palm Beach County Board of Elections the next morning, she learned that the culprit was a driver’s license signature, hastily squiggled on an electronic signature pad two years earlier.


Facebook Refuses to Rule out a Return to China despite Human Rights Concerns *Find out more about online censorship and surveillance in China in our March 2018 report, Forbidden Feeds
In a letter to the U.S. senate’s intelligence committee, Facebook said that human rights would be “carefully considered” before it made any further attempt to operate under the authoritarian regime. But it stopped short of saying that China’s extensive censorship and surveillance apparatus currently conflict with its principles, or that it would refuse to offer any service there until conditions changed.

How ZTE Helps Venezuela Create China-Style Social Control
Chinese telecoms giant ZTE is helping Venezuela build a system that monitors citizen behavior through a new identification card. The “fatherland card,” already used by the government to track voting, worries many in Venezuela and beyond.

Fake News in Turkey: Hunting for Truth in Land of Conspiracy
Turkey is a country where fact and fiction are increasingly hard to distinguish, and where information is weaponized to further divide a profoundly polarized society. Inflammatory rhetoric pervades the media, 90 percent of which is estimated to be pro-government. That is because opposition outlets have been steadily shut down, branded “terrorist propaganda,” or financially crippled.

In Chechnya, Televised Shamings to Keep People in Check
Over the past decade, President Ramzan Kadyrov has asserted an authoritarian grip on Chechnya. Loyal to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kadyrov has crushed the free press and stifled dissent—using threats, forced disappearances, and, over the past few years or so, televised shamings such as on-screen public apologies for a wide range of perceived offences.

How Jair Bolsonaro’s Election Could Reshape Brazil’s Cultural Landscape
After Jair Bolsonaro won the presidential election in Brazil, concerns about the future of the country’s entertainment sector became a major talking point at the Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival. Top among those concerns: potential rolling back of government incentives and mechanisms that have helped grow the industry and, more broadly, of basic rights and freedoms in this diverse country.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]