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Egregiously and intentionally false stories on Las Vegas shooting spread widely on Facebook and Google, serving a wide range of political and ideological motives. Premature reports of Tom Petty’s death after a cardiac attack cause global internet outpouring before his passing is actually confirmed. German social media law banning hate speech goes into effect. In wake of Guggenheim controversy, Paris’ Louvre withdraws large Dutch art installation for being too “explicit.” -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


Google and Facebook Failed Us
These companies are the most powerful information gatekeepers that the world has ever known, and yet they refuse to take responsibility for their active role in damaging the quality of information reaching the public.

Premature CBS Report of Tom Petty’s Death Sets Off an Outpouring
The CBS news division said in a statement: “CBS News reported information obtained officialy from the LAPD about Tom Petty. The LAPD later said it was not in a position to confirm information about the singer.”

Congressman Duped Into Holding Sham Hearing for Ukrainian TV
A former U.S. lawmaker appears to have duped a freshman congressman’s office into organizing a sham “hearing” that aired on Ukrainian television on behalf of a shadowy lobbying client implicated in the Panama Papers leak.

Supreme Court takes up Wisconsin as test in partisan gerrymandering claims
Challengers from Wisconsin say they have evidence that Republican leaders of their state drew maps to ensure enduring GOP control of the legislature, and a test for deciding when political advantage goes too far. The outcome could change the way American elections are conducted.

The press, branded the ‘enemy’ by Trump, increasingly trusted by the public: Reuters/Ipsos poll
The poll of more than 14,300 people found that the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48 percent in September from 39 percent last November. The percentage of those who said they had “hardly any” confidence in the press dropped to 45 percent from 51 percent over the same period.


Germany’s social media hate speech law is now in effect
A new law has come into force in Germany aimed at regulating social media platforms to ensure they remove hate speech within set periods of receiving complaints—within 24 hours in straightforward cases or within seven days where evaluation of content is more difficult.

Louvre Pulls Sculpture, Saying It Was Sexually Explicit
The piece—“Domestikator” by the collective Atelier Van Lieshout, whose outline depicts copulation—was to go on view in the Louvre’s Tuileries Gardens as part of Hors les Murs, a public art program organized by the Fiac contemporary art fair.

Germany gay marriage: Couple are first to marry under new law
Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, a couple for 38 years, exchanged their vows at the town hall in Schöneberg, Berlin, becoming the first gay couple to marry in Germany, on the day it became legal there.

She tried to run against Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Now she’s looking at 20 years in prison.
Rwandan authorities arrested Diane Shima Rwigara and charged her with “offenses against state security and forgery.” It’s clear to everyone, however, that her real crime was her attempt to run against incumbent Paul Kagame in the presidential election last month.

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