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Ahead of the FCC’s vote on net neutrality, chairman Ajit Pai takes aim at social media platforms’ lack of transparency in their decisions to restrict conservative or pro-Trump content. President Trump repeats denials of accusations of sexual harassment and assault, deriding both the accusers and Senator Gillibrand, a vocal critic and driving force behind the resignation of Senator Al Franken following revelations of past sexual misconduct. Washington Post reporter denied entry to Roy Moore’s election night party, in stark contrast to treatment of members of the press during primary race. Release of texts by FBI officials expressing their political leanings ahead of the 2016 presidential election add fuel to the Republican campaign to discredit the investigation into Russian interference in the election. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

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


FCC chairman says social media platforms lack transparency in how they restrict conservative content
Content providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, Ajit Pai said, deserve more scrutiny over their decisions to restrict political content with pro-Trump and conservative messaging.

Trump’s Combative Denials Again Draw Him Into the Sexual Harassment Debate
By responding so aggressively on Tuesday, the president ensured that calls for renewed scrutiny of the women’s allegations would gain new momentum and that Democrats, who have aggressively recruited women to run for Congress, will have a volatile new issue in the midterm elections next year.

Washington Post Reporters Denied Entry To Roy Moore’s Election Night Party
The Washington Post reporters were “asked to leave” the rally while journalists for other news outlets were stationed inside awaiting the results of Tuesday’s closely watched special election.

Text Messages in Hand, Republicans Plan to Accuse Justice Department of Bias
The release of FBI officials’ text messages describing the possibility of a victory by Trump as “terrifying” and saying that Clinton “just has to win” is certain to fuel a Republican campaign to attack the impartiality of the Justice Department and its special counsel, Robert Mueller.

Yes, the Truth Still Matters
“The president’s taunts have prompted long-overdue if uncomfortable and unwelcome reflection in our newsroom and others. But it has also prompted all of us to be more humble, more careful, and more dedicated than ever to the basic elements of our craft: to marshal facts, produce stories, and pay little mind to criticism, whether from left or right.”


Facebook’s dangerous experiment in Cambodia
“After Facebook’s change, I posted a video on my page, as I always did every week. Instead of getting the usual amount of views, which was around 12,000 views for the first hour, I got only 5,000 views after having posted the video for five hours.”

Egypt singer jailed for ‘inciting debauchery’ in music video
A court in Egypt has reportedly jailed for two years a singer who appeared in a music video in her underwear while suggestively eating a banana. She was found guilty of inciting debauchery and publishing an indecent film.

Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the two Reuters journalists reported missing in Myanmar since Tuesday, are in police custody, the government says. Local reports say they have been held under the Official Secrets Act, and a lawyer involved in the case told the BBC that the pair could face 14 years in prison.

Chinese authorities collecting DNA from all residents of Xinjiang
Chinese authorities are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, and other biometric data from every resident in Xinjiang. Officials are also building a database of iris scans and blood types of everyone aged between 12 and 65, adding to controls in a place some experts have called an “open-air prison.”

Number of Jailed Journalists Hits Record High
Nearly three-quarters of the detained journalists were jailed after being accused of antigovernment activities, many of them under broad and vague counterterrorism laws. A record number, 21, were jailed on charges of “false news,” a term that has gained resonance as strongmen have embraced President Trump’s attacks on “fake news” to silence critics.

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