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One week after New York Times investigation, Facebook acknowledges having created and propagated misleading and false content on its platform in a bid to discredit critics. Harvard reportedly disinvites Turki al Faisal, formerly the head of the Saudi intelligence agency and ambassador to the U.S. and the U.K., currently a Georgetown professor, over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Wisconsin students making Nazi salutes in group photo will not be punished, according to school district, which cited their First Amendment rights. Right-wing violence and terrorism on the rise in the United States. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


On Thanksgiving Eve, Facebook Acknowledges Details of Times Investigation
Facebook on Thanksgiving eve took responsibility for hiring a Washington-based lobbying company, Definers Public Affairs, that pushed negative stories about Facebook’s critics. This is a change from just a few days ago, when Facebook wrote that the Times report was full of “inaccuracies.”

A Saudi Prince Says Harvard Disinvited Him After Killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Harvard has become the latest institution to spurn association with a top Saudi after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul: Harvard Belfer Center’s Kennedy School disinvited Saudi Prince Turki al Faisal from a long-planned week in residence.

Students Who Made Apparent Nazi Salute in Photo Won’t Be Punished
The Wisconsin students who appeared to make a Nazi salute in a widely criticized photo will not be punished, the school’s superintendent said this week in a letter to parents, citing First Amendment rights.

In the United States, Right-Wing Violence Is on the Rise
Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings, and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism.

‘The Blackface Scandal That Rocked My Campus’
A photo of a student partying in blackface caused days of tension on the campus of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. Protests erupted, the university authorities walked a tightrope defending free speech, and racist graffiti made an appearance. Student journalist Megan Schellong was in the thick of it and tells the story.


Bangladesh: Shahidul Alam Is Back, Free Speech Is Not *PEN Case List: Find Out More
The international community played an extraordinary role in securing Shahidul Alam’s release and in keeping his case alive in the realm of global conscience. But work still needs to be done as freedom of expression, particularly when it touches politics, remains as perilous as ever in Bangladesh.

Trump might see the media as his enemy. But Jamal Khashoggi deserves better. *PEN Case List: Find Out More
“Listen to the recording, Mr. President. Listen to the recording. And when you hear it, remember, this was not merely an attack on a Saudi dissident for political reprisal. This was an attack on journalism itself, a vivid demonstration of what some nations would do to the very concept of a free and independent press.”

Influential Syrian Activist Raed Fares Gunned down in Idlib
Raed Fares, one of Syria’s most prominent activists, known for eye-catching protest banners and influential “Radio Fresh” broadcasts, has been assassinated in the rebel-held northern enclave in Idlib province.

Authors Boycott UAE Book Festival over Matthew Hedges Jailing
Several U.K. authors are reconsidering invitations to attend a United Arab Emirates literary festival after a British academic was jailed for life last week for alleged spying, with historian Antony Beevor, novelist Sabine Durrant, and BBC journalist Frank Gardner among those confirming their withdrawal.

The Website That Shows How a Free Press Can Die
The story of Origo’s transformation from independent news source to government cheerleader offers a blueprint of how Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his allies pulled this off. Rather than a sudden and blatant power grab, the effort was subtle but determined, using a quiet pressure campaign.

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