DARE: How trolls manipulate the media
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Facebook removes a fact-check from an anti-abortion activist video after four Republican senators complain. A new report breaks down the “taxonomy of trolling,” specifically how trolls effectively spread false claims. Artists are joining a campaign to say no to facial recognition tech at their concert events. A new CNN poll finds that the majority of Americans have “some” trust to “none at all” when it comes to official White House communications. Plus PEN America rolls out Literature Locked Up, our initiative to end arbitrary book bans in the nation’s prisons.
James Tager, Deputy Director of Free Expression Research and Policy
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Facebook Took Down A Fact-Check Of An Anti-Abortion Video After Republicans Complained
Facebook removes a fact-check ranking a claim that “abortion is never medically necessary” as false after Republican senators allege that doctors who evaluated the claim were unfairly biased towards pro-choice positions. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Kevin Cramer, and Mike Braun sent a letter to Facebook on Wednesday, accusing the company of censorship and bias against conservatives.
Source hacking: How trolls manipulate the media
Digital think-tank Data and Society publishes a new report, breaking down the tactics that internet “trolls” use to manipulate journalists and laypeople alike and spread misinformation. In particular, the report focuses on “source hacking,” whereby trolls hide the sources of information as a means to circulating false claims among mainstream media.
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW
Anti-facial Recognition Campaign Gains Artist Support
Digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a campaign—supported by artists like Tom Morello and Speedy Ortiz—to speak out against facial recognition technology at live music events as unwarranted surveillance. The group argues that there is “no evidence” that the technology will keep fans safe, adding that “mass surveillance is largely ineffective at preventing violent crimes.”
More than two-thirds of Americans have little confidence in what the White House says
A new CNN poll indicates a deep undercurrent of skepticism in White House pronouncements. Two-thirds of polled Americans have, at most, only “some” confidence in official White House communications. Three out of 10 have “none at all.” As might be expected, there were significant differences by party and depending on whether the respondent approved of the job Trump is doing as president.
THE WASHINGTON POST
“Literature Locked Up” Supports an End to Prison Book Bans for Banned Books Week
Over 2.2 million people in the US face tremendous restrictions on their freedom to read. It’s not young people in schools; it’s those who are behind bars and experiencing incarceration. This year, as part of Banned Books Week—September 22-28—PEN America will start a week-long initiative to bring attention to the regular practice of banning book access to prisoners. Read about our upcoming initiative.
Q&A: What We Can Learn from Journalists in Latin America
In the face of extreme political pressure, violence, and the basic need to keep paying the bills, Latin American journalists have found new ways to reach their audiences and provide a check on those in power. This Q&A with the director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas explores how independent journalists in particular can share knowledge and learn how to protect themselves against violence, harassment, and intimidation.
OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS
Press freedom becomes a test case for Swiss foreign policy
When all of the E.U. member states signed a statement condemning the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Switzerland was conspicuously absent. This column discusses how Switzerland’s traditional neutrality conflicts with its reputation for defending human rights. Recent policy moves show that the famously middle-ground state may start taking a stronger line to defend press freedom. Read about PEN America’s work calling for further investigations into Khashoggi’s murder.
Turkey: Prosecutors appeal against acquittal of Erol Önderoğlu, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and writer Ahmet Nesin
Turkish prosecutors have decided to appeal the acquittal of Erol Önderoğlu, a representative of Reporters Without Borders in Turkey, as well as writer Ahmet Nesin and human rights activist Şebnem Korur Fincancı. The three were acquitted earlier this summer but prosecutors this week have decided to renew the case. It comes after a protracted three-year legal battle after the three took part in a free speech campaign in Turkey. Read about their story on our PEN America case page.
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
Tibetan Religious Festival Marred by Police Presence, State Propaganda
A major religious festival was held in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa this week under heavy security, with large numbers of Chinese police both in uniform and plain clothes deployed to monitor the crowds. One participant said with surveillance cameras mounted on street corners and at police checkpoints, Tibetans now feel like they are living in a giant prison.
RADIO FREE ASIA
DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. An article’s inclusion does not imply endorsement by PEN America. We welcome your comments. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]