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District of Columbia sues Facebook for allowing Cambridge Analytica to access and use data from the platform’s users. Activists call on Disney to drop its trademark of the Swahili phrase ‘Hakuna Matata.’ Margaret Atwood pens moving piece in defense of press freedom as a fundamental building block of democracy. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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

U.S.

Facebook Sued by District of Columbia Over Cambridge Analytica
The attorney general of the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, sued Facebook for allowing the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the private data of tens of millions of the social network’s users.
NEW YORK TIMES

Petition Calls on Disney to Drop ‘Hakuna Matata’ Trademark
The online petition, created by Zimbabwean activist Shelton Mpala, has received more than 50,000 signatures. Mpala said he started the petition “to draw attention to the appropriation of African culture and the importance of protecting our heritage, identity, and culture from being exploited for financial gain by third parties.”
CNN

Margaret Atwood: If We Lose the Free Press, We Cease to Be a Democracy
“If a society has any pretense to being other than a serfdom, a free and independent press whose journalists have the right to dig into the factual subsoil of a story is the primary defense against encroaching winner-takes-all powercreep.”
LITERARY HUB

The Most Common Forms of Censorship the Public Doesn’t Know About
[The internet] wasn’t private by design, so when censors came along, they pushed on an open door. … Privacy makes selective censorship harder because censors no longer know the blow-by-blow details of what everyone is doing, so they can’t micromanage a person’s access to the internet.
TECHCRUNCH

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News
Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper.
GQ

 
Global

Facebook Shuts down Fake Bangladesh News Sites Ahead of Vote
Facebook is shutting down a series of fake news sites spreading false information about the Bangladesh opposition days before national elections. The sites were created by Bangladeshis with government ties.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Egypt to Bail Amal Fathy, Jailed for ‘Fake News’ after Harassment Complaint
A court in Egypt has ordered the release of the women’s rights activist Amal Fathy, who was detained after criticizing the authorities for failing to tackle sexual harassment. She was charged with “spreading fake news” in May after posting a video in which she recounted her experiences.
BBC NEWS

The Global Attack on Journalism Really Targets Democracy Itself
“As the geographic and demographic diversity of Time’s [2018 Persons of the Year] roster attests, the free flow of information is under threat everywhere, including in democracies where we for too long have taken it for granted.”
KANSAS CITY STAR

Please Welcome China’s WeChat To The #Resistance
The Chinese government exercises strict control over content posted to WeChat. … But right now Beijing is happy to let people freely express their anger on the platform—so long as it’s directed at the current U.S. administration and Trump in particular.
BUZZFEED NEWS

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