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Lawmakers to question representatives from Facebook and Google, focusing in particular on white nationalist and hateful content and prospects for regulation. Rep. David Nunes (R-Calif.) sues the McClatchy newspaper group, alleging ‘character assassination.’ Journalists and media organizations criticize provisions in a bill proposed in the Georgia House of Representatives to create a ‘journalism ethics board.’ (See PEN America’s concerns about the bill’s impact on First Amendment rights.) Two people arrested for vandalizing a monument on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus dedicated to the enslaved and free black workers who built parts of the school. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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

U.S.

Facebook and Google to Be Quizzed on White Nationalism and Political Bias as Congress Pushes Dueling Reasons for Regulation
Congressional lawmakers plan to grill Facebook and Google this week over the ways they police their platforms, including their efforts to stop online hate speech from spurring real-world violence, offering the latest sign that tech giants face a global regulatory reckoning for their business practices.
WASHINGTON POST

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Sues McClatchy Newspaper Chain, Alleging ‘Character Assassination’
The defamation lawsuit seeks $150 million and the deletion of an article in The Fresno Bee, a McClatchy newspaper, about Alpha Omega Winery, a company that Nunes partially owns. The article, published last May, described a lawsuit by a server who was aboard a San Francisco Bay cruise in 2015 attended by some of the winery’s top investors, which she said included drugs and prostitution.
NEW YORK TIMES

‘Ethics’ Bill Leaves Georgia Journalists on Edge
Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative reporter Johnny Edwards said such a bill is ridiculous and ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance of advancing; however, based on the obstacles he faced from lawmakers and other officials while working on a recent story and the national climate towards journalism, he said he’s alarmed.
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW

2 Arrested in Vandalism of Slave Memorial at University of North Carolina
Two people were arrested on charges that they vandalized The Unsung Founders Memorial, which is dedicated to slaves and African-American workers, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its vandalism inflamed tensions at the university, where last year protesters toppled a Confederate monument called “Silent Sam” in the same plaza.
NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

Attacked by Both Sides: Journalists Caught in the Crossfire of Kashmir Conflict
In the past two years, journalists in Kashmir have been threatened by militants, blinded by pellet guns fired by security forces, and murdered by unknown assailants. Many reporters say that self-censorship is often the only option to keep working safely in the region. “We have become a punching bag for both sides.”
REUTERS

Holocaust Memorial Replica Stunt Shines Light on Rightwing Radicalism in Germany
When a group of performance artists erected a replica of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial next to the home of a far-right politician, they were hoping to draw attention to the revisionist views of a rising figure on Germany’s nationalist right. But the collective finds itself targeted by the first criminal investigation of its kind against a group of artists in modern German history.
GUARDIAN

Safety Committee Formed as Violence against Journalist Rises
Press agencies and legal aid organizations have formed the Journalist Safety Committee in the face of the rise in violence against journalists in Indonesia, especially during political years. Most of the violence recorded is in the form of physical abuse such as beatings and forced expulsions, but there has also been a rise of online persecution in the digital era.
JAKARTA POST

9 Leaders of Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests Found Guilty
A Hong Kong court found nine leaders of 2014 pro-democracy demonstrations guilty on public nuisance and other charges, a verdict that activists say likely presages more restrictions on free expression in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

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