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Further evidence emerges of Russian operatives interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including by targeting black voters and dissuading them from casting their ballots. Google shuts down data analysis system purportedly used to develop a censored search engine for the Chinese market. New York Times criticized for publishing interview with Alice Walker in which the writer endorses the work of a known conspiracy theorist without qualifying it as such. Spate of hateful incidents at Columbia University in recent weeks tests the institution’s commitment to inclusion and response to anti-Semitism on campus. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Some of the Popular Images and Themes the Russians Posted on Social Media
Using an array of accounts on multiple platforms and targeting a variety of demographics, the Russians have generated millions of interactions with their posts. Here are a few of the Russians’ greatest hits.

Kremlin Denies Roiling U.S. Politics through Social Media
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, rejected Senate claims of a Russian political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media, saying the reports sought to shift blame for social tensions in the U.S. to Russia without proof.

New York Times Assailed for Alice Walker Interview Endorsing ‘Anti-Semitic’ Conspiracy Theorist
It was not Walker’s approval of David Icke’s work that most troubled observers, who noted that she has previously declared her affinity for his delusive writing. … Rather, some decried the decision by the Times to relay her recommendation to readers without qualification.

Anti-Semitic Graffiti at Columbia Ruffles Liberal Bastion
“You always think that, being in New York City at one of the world’s largest and most liberal universities, that this kind of thing can’t happen, but then it happens,” said Ramsay Eyre, a 19-year-old sophomore at Columbia involved in student council.


Google’s Secret China Project ‘Effectively Ended’ after Internal Confrontation
Google has been forced to shut down a data analysis system it was using to develop a censored search engine for China after members of the company’s privacy team raised internal complaints that it had been kept secret from them.

Pakistani Liberals Gather in Washington, Denounce ‘Drift Toward Authoritarianism’
They lamented Pakistan’s “drift toward authoritarianism” and the “unprecedented curbs on media and state institutions.” People disappear without a trace, journalists are beaten, and censorship is so severe that the people don’t know what is happening in their country, they said.

In Cameroon, Journalists Are Being Jailed on Charges of ‘Fake News’
In Cameroon, where English-speaking separatists are fighting the largely French-speaking government to establish a new nation, journalists covering the violence are increasingly finding themselves behind bars on a surprising charge: fake news.

How To Stop Fake News In A Country Where The President Has To Repeatedly Deny Rumors That He Is Dead
With a general election two months out, local journalists in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, are working overtime to fight the spread of fake news that has already proven it can convince people of nearly anything—and can potentially get people killed.

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