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A ‘deepfake’ video of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg emerges—and is left up on Instagram—as Congress prepares for its first hearing on the potential threats of disinformation campaigns using the highly convincing doctored videos. New study finds that most people will not pay for online news platforms, raising again significant questions about the ‘paywall’ model for more broadly supporting the costs of original journalism. As the House Judiciary Committee kicks off antitrust probe of technology companies, news organization witnesses speak of ‘massive freeloading’ of their content, and how reaching much larger audiences doesn’t yield greater advertising revenue. Cartoonists and commentators react to the New York Times International edition’s decision to cease publishing political cartoons. (See PEN America’s position on their decision here.) -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Facebook Lets Deepfake Zuckerberg Video Stay on Instagram
Facebook has said it will not remove a manipulated video of its chief Mark Zuckerberg from Instagram, in which he appears to credit a secretive organization for his success. The clip is a “deepfake,” made by AI software that uses photos of a person to create a video of them in action.

The Media Has a Big Problem, Reuters Institute Says: Who Will Pay for the News?
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report that most people would not pay for online news and that there had been only a small increase in the proportion of people willing to do so in the last six years.

The House Judiciary Committee Pounds Google and Facebook for Their Effects on News Publishers
The House Judiciary Committee launched its investigation into the market dominance of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, hitting hard on the impact of the tech giants’ platforms on news, layoffs of journalists, and the spread of misinformation online.

The New York Times Cuts All Political Cartoons, and Cartoonists Are Not Happy
Many editorial cartoonists have been angered by the Times’s frequent reluctance to publish political cartoons in its domestic paper—and have been vocal about the imperiled nature of their industry. Some political artists view the Times’s decision to end daily political cartoons as a repudiation of the art form.


Hong Kong’s Journalism Watchdog Says Police ‘Trampled on Reporters’ Rights’ during Extradition Protest Clashes
The HKJA said that, as police removed roadblocks and dispersed protesters from Lung Wo Road using force, reporters and photographers from various media organizations were unreasonably removed from the scene by police.

Journalist Norma Sarabia Shot Dead in Tabasco, Mexico
A crime journalist has been murdered in south-east Mexico, local media report, the sixth reporter to be killed in the country this year. Two masked men on a motorbike shot Norma Sarabia several times outside her home in Tabasco state.

Journalist Shot to Death in Haiti Amid Escalating Attacks
The slaying of a radio reporter in Haiti has prompted media organizations to renew demands that police protect them and give them space to work, as attacks on journalists in the country escalate. An unidentified gunman shot journalist Rospide Petion as he drove home late Monday in a car owned by Radio Sans Fin.

Samoa Bans Elton John Biopic Rocketman over Gay Scenes
About 97 percent of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and they’re generally considered conservative and traditional. Samoa’s 2013 Crimes Act deems sodomy an offence punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.

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