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Mueller report assesses where White House misled, lied to, or falsely discredited journalists and their reporting. American Media Inc. sells National Enquirer to CEO of Hudson News, James Cohen, for $100 million. TikTok, world’s most valuable video-sharing app and startup, has an algorithm that learns its users and employs AI differently than other social media platforms to censor videos as they are posted, raising new questions about free expression online. -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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


Mueller Report Suggests the ‘Fake News’ Came from Trump, Not the News Media
While Mueller’s report didn’t establish a criminal conspiracy and was “unable” to conclude that obstruction of justice occurred—contrary to hours of speculation among cable-news pundits during Mueller’s long investigation—it also largely validated news accounts that Trump dismissed or disparaged.

The National Enquirer Is Being Sold for $100 Million to James Cohen, CEO of Hudson News
American Media Inc. is selling the National Enquirer for $100 million to James Cohen, CEO of Hudson News, ending an association between a longtime friend of President Trump and the tabloid that illegally attempted to bury embarrassing news about Trump during the 2016 campaign.

The Kids Use TikTok Now Because Data-Mined Videos Are so Much Fun
The video-sharing app by the Chinese-owned Bytedance, the world’s most valuable startup, has a younger audience than Facebook, an algorithm that learns you, and different ideas about free speech.

Booksellers Publish First Copies of Mueller Report
Giving new meaning to the publishing industry term “instant book,” two independent bookstores turned the release of the redacted 400-page investigative report by special counsel Robert Mueller into a print-on-demand feature within hours of its release on Thursday.


Lyra McKee, Northern Ireland Journalist, Is Killed in ‘Terrorist Incident,’ Police Say
The police in Northern Ireland on Friday blamed militants opposed to British rule there for the killing of Lyra McKee, a young journalist who was covering a night of violent unrest in Londonderry, also known as Derry.

Turkmenistan the Worst Country for Journalists, Norway the Safest
Turkmenistan is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists to do their job while Norway is ranked the safest, according to Reporters Without Borders. Additionally, Egypt, which has imprisoned Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Hussein for more than two years without trial, and Saudi Arabia, implicated last year in the murder Jamal Khashoggi, have both stepped up repression of the media.

Leica China Video Sparks Backlash over Tiananmen Square Image
A promotional video for camera company Leica has sparked backlash in China for featuring a famous Tiananmen Square image. The video depicts photographers working in conflicts around the world, including a photographer covering the 1989 protests. People on Chinese social media site Weibo have called for a boycott of the camera brand.

Under Chinese Censorship, Game of Thrones Becomes a Mundane Medieval Documentary
“Strip Game of Thrones of the sex, violence, and supernatural horror, and what’s left? Chinese fans of the show are finding out, as they’re watching a version of the series that’s been censored by the government. Many say the censored version of Game of Thrones they have ready access to is more like a mundane “medieval documentary” with disjointed plot points.”

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