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Families and friends of Parkland victims mince no words in confronting the President, politicians, and the NRA on gun control at forums, the Florida State House, and in the White House. After the shooting, conspiracy theories mushroom on social media. Twitter stokes conservative outrage through mass purge of accounts linked to Russian trolling and spam. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


11 of the Most Dramatic Moments in a Day of Confrontation Over Guns
It was a day of tense exchanges, emotion-packed speeches and confrontation as lawmakers, students, and parents sparred on Wednesday over what to do about shootings in American schools.

Tech’s Biggest Companies are Spreading Conspiracy Theories. Again.
On Wednesday, YouTube and Facebook were each forced to issue yet another mea culpa for promoting conspiracy theories about David Hogg, a student who survived the mass shooting at a Florida high school last week.

Twitter Purges Accounts, and Conservatives Cry Foul
Twitter has pruned more suspected trolls and fake accounts from its platform, prompting several of its most outspoken conservative users to complain Wednesday that they had lost thousands of followers overnight.

Texas School District Threatens to Suspend Students who Protest Gun Violence
Needville Independent School District (ISD) Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said in a letter sent to families and posted on social media that students would be suspended for three days if they took part in the protests following the shooting.


Pakistani Journalist Speaks about Shrinking Freedom of Expression
During an event at the Centre International de Conférences Genève, Taha Siddiqui discussed how freedom of expression is continuing to shrink in Pakistan, where political activists, journalists, and social media users have gone missing in the last year. “It may seem that the media in Pakistan is quite vibrant and independent… [but] self-censorship is the norm.”

Media, Rights Activists Threatened in South Sudan: U.N. Report
Journalists and rights activists in South Sudan have been killed or arrested and newspapers closed, often by the government, hampering coverage of one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Spanish Artwork Denounced Political ‘Persecution.’ It Was Ordered Removed.
Madrid’s main exhibition center, known as Ifema and controlled by the regional and local governments of Madrid, ordered that a work labeling Catalonia’s separatist leaders as political prisoners be removed from an international arts fair.

When Jokes Become a Crime: Free Speech Under Fire in Lebanon
After Lebanese comedian Hicham Haddad made jokes during his show about Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a public prosecutor filed charges of libel and defamation of a foreign leader.


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