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Tech companies set to convene on disinformation and the 2020 election cycle with the Federal Elections Commission, the Cyber Policy Center at Stanford University, and PEN America at September event. (Learn more about PEN America’s work analyzing the effect of online disinformation in our society). Six Oregon newspapers pen editorials in support of press freedom after county official launches investigation of local paper for having sought information about state lawmaker’s business deals. Indiana appellate court rules that woman’s Facebook posts targeting a police officer are not protected by the First Amendment.
Nora Benavidez, director of US Free Expression Programs

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


Facebook, Twitter to Attend Disinformation Event at Federal Elections Office
Advocacy groups are hoping to bring together a variety of experts including tech companies, policy makers, political organizations and journalists to discuss how disinformation works, where it comes from, its impact and what stakeholders can do ahead of the 2020 election.

Media Outlets and Readers Rally in Support of Press Freedom in Oregon
Six newspapers, ranging from the Oregonian in Portland to the Bend Bulletin, penned editorials about the request by a county official to launch a criminal investigation into an Oregon newspaper last week.

Judge Wants Real Name of Fake Cow before Acting on Devin Nunes’ Twitter Lawsuit
A Virginia judge has asked Twitter to provide more information about the authors of two anonymous parody accounts that heckle California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes before deciding whether to dismiss the congressman’s lawsuit against the social media company.

Appeals Court: Facebook Posts Harassing Kokomo Officer Are Not Free Speech
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled against a woman, convicted of harassing a Kokomo police officer, who argued her comments posted on Facebook were free speech and protected by the First Amendment.


China Expels Wall Street Journal Reporter Over Coverage of Xi’s Family
Chinese authorities told the Journal on Friday they would not renew press credentials for Chun Han Wong, who has covered Chinese politics from Beijing since 2014. Read PEN America’s 2016 report on how China’s government uses credential denials and other constraints to effectively censor the press.

Hong Kong Police Arrest Activists Ahead of 13th Weekend of Mass Protests
Police arrest Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Andy Chan, all detained a day after police denied approval for a massive rally scheduled for Saturday. Advocates say the coordinated arrests are meant to intimidate people in advance of the weekend.

Lawyers Urge Speedy Trial, Medical Help for Journalist Detained in Tanzania
Investigative journalist Erick Kabendera was arrested at his home in Dar es Salaam on July 29. His lawyers say he needs urgent medical attention. He’s been charged with organized crime and tax crimes, but advocates say the charges are politically motivated.

Belarus Filmmaker Victim of Homophobic Attack
Belarusian filmmaker Kolya Kuprich was brutally attacked after defending several colleagues working on his documentary Pussy Boys about Minsk’s LGBTQI+ community.

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