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In taking down pages associated with accounts they have declared fraudulent, Facebook removes the work of legitimate activists mobilizing against white supremacy. At a rally in support of Republican candidate Lou Baretta in Pennsylvania, Trump continues vilification of members of the press and the news media; UN experts warn that Trump’s rhetoric not only runs counter to international obligations, but also raises the risk of violence against journalists. Conservative media seizes on old tweets by journalist Sarah Jeong in what has been described as a campaign of harassment since being hired by the New York Times. Progressive magazine The Nation faces backlash over a poem published last month, raising questions around cultural appropriation and artistic freedom. –Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


‘We Are Not Bots’: Facebook Censors U.S. Activists After Falsely Claiming They ‘Unwittingly’ Planned Protest
Facebook announced its banning of eight pages, 17 profiles, and seven Instagram accounts that engaged in what it described as online political activity that was both “inauthentic” and ultimately an “abuse” of its platform. It is clear that Facebook is operating in unfamiliar territory as Americans inch closer to yet another election.

‘Disgusting News’: Donald Trump Whips Up Crowd Anger as he Vilifies Media
Donald Trump ramped up his attack on the media on Thursday night, criticizing the press as “fake, fake, disgusting news” and describing journalists in attendance as “horrible, horrendous people”, despite UN experts warning earlier in the day that his actions were putting journalists at risk.

A Note From the Editorial Leadership of The Verge: Newsrooms Must Stand up to Targeted Campaigns of Harassment
“Since announcing her new job with The New York Times, a widespread campaign of harassment has targeted Verge reporter Sarah Jeong for a number of tweets she wrote years ago. Those reacting to these tweets have taken them out of context, and she has since received an unrelenting stream of abuse from online strangers.”

A Poem in The Nation Spurs a Backlash and an Apology
The venerable progressive weekly published what may have been a first: an apology for one of its offerings that ran twice as long as the poem itself. After a firestorm of criticism on social media over a white poet’s attempt at black vernacular, the magazine said it had made a “serious mistake” in publishing it.


Prominent Women Activists Silenced by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian authorities have detained prominent activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Saadeh. Badawi has campaigned for female suffrage and abolition of male guardianship for women. Saadeh was one of the first women to stand for office in the kingdom but was disqualified.

Sun Wenguang: Chinese Activist’s Live Interview Shut Down by Police
Retired physics professor, Sun Wenguang, 84, was in the middle of an interview with US-funded broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) when police broke into his home in Jinan, China and forced him off air. Sun had been talking to the Mandarin language service of VOA about Chinese government’s foreign investments.

Supreme Court of India Decries Practice of Banning Books
The Supreme Court decried the practice of banning books saying that it restricts the free flow of ideas and literary works can be banned only when they violate the law. “The culture of banning books restrict free flow of ideas,” the bench said, adding that ban can be imposed under certain circumstances.

China Is Trying to Block a Pro-Independence Activist From Speaking in Hong Kong
China’s Foreign Ministry has attempted to block a planned address by a pro-independence activist, Andy Chan Ho-Tin, in Hong Kong, in the latest sign that Beijing’s tolerance is wearing thin for pro-democratic discourse. Chan said trying to block the event amounted to an attempt by China to “colonize Hong Kong.”

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