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With unusually high turnout for a midterm election, Democrats gain the majority in the House and Republicans retain control of the Senate. Voters bring diverse new voices to political office as record number of women are headed to Congress, including the first two Muslim women (Democrats Democrats Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota) and first two Native American women Democrats (Deb Haaland in New Mexico and Sharice Davids in Kansas) elected to the House. Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, who promotes white nationalism, is re-elected and refuses credentials for his election night event to Iowa’s largest newspaper. Also re-elected is Montana Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a journalist. Florida approves constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to about 1.4 million people who have completed sentences for felony convictions. Britain’s top oversight office for data protection says Cambridge Analytica, founded by Trump backers, violated British law when it improperly accessed personal data from Facebook users to aid his 2016 campaign. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Democrats Capture Control of House; G.O.P. Holds Senate
From the suburbs of Richmond to the subdivisions of Chicago and even Oklahoma City, an array of diverse candidates—many of them women, first-time contenders, or both—stormed to victory and ended the Republicans’ eight-year grip on the House majority, even as Republicans held on to their Senate majority by claiming a handful of conservative-leaning seats.

A Record Number Of Women Will Serve In Congress
At least 117 women will serve in the 116th Congress, up from the current 107. These new records represent the culmination of a record-setting year for female candidates. In elections for Congress, governorships, and state legislatures alike, the number of women who ran outstripped previous years, as did the number of women nominated.

Steve King Bars Some in News Media From Election Night Event
Carol Hunter, the executive editor of Iowa’s largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, said Steve King’s son Jeff King denied a request for credentials to the event, calling the newspaper in an email a “leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth.” King (R-IA) won his ninth term in Congress.

Gop Rep. Greg Gianforte Wins Re-Election in Montana
Rep. Greg Gianforte wins re-election for Montana’s at-large House seat, defeating Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams. Gianforte made national headlines last year when he pleaded guilty to assaulting The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Florida Passes Amendment 4, Which Will Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million People
The amendment, passed last night, will restore voting rights for people convicted of felonies as long as they have completed their sentences, though it excludes people convicted of murder or felony sex offenses. A disproportionate share of those arrested and incarcerated in Florida are minorities, particularly African Americans.


British Watchdog Finds Cambridge Analytica and Brexit Financier Misused Private Data
The defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica violated British law when it used improperly harvested Facebook data to aid Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and would face a significant fine if it were not already in bankruptcy, Britain’s top data protection watchdog found.

West Calls on China to Close Uighur Detention Camps *PEN Case List: Find Out More
The United States urged China to “abolish all forms of arbitrary detention, including internment camps in Xinjiang, and immediately release the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of individuals detained in these camps,” including activists Wang Quanzhang, Ilham Tohti, and Huang Qi.

Facebook Admits It Was Used to Incite Violence in Myanmar
Facebook failed to prevent its platform from being used to incite violence in Myanmar, the company admitted, citing a human rights report. The report recommends that Facebook increase enforcement of policies for content posted on its platform; exercise greater transparency with data that shows its progress; and engage with civil society and officials in Myanmar.

Russians Meddling in the Midterms? Here’s the Data
“In the month of October alone, we tracked 110,000 social media posts that referenced a U.S. midterm candidate, topic, or hashtag. … More than 10,000 of these posts contained a link to one of the websites we have either confirmed as Russian-directed or believe to be Russian with a very high degree of confidence.”

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