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Heads of state urge tech companies to play a greater role in policing extremist content. President Trump criticizes media attention to Russian involvement in the 2016 election following Facebook’s announcement that it would hand over political ads linked to the election to Congress. In advance of a hearing on the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, pastry chefs in Washington, DC, show their support for marriage equality. –Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

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

U.S.

World Leaders Urge Big Tech to Police Terrorist Content
Not so long ago, any suggestion that the internet be governed was unacceptable. The ability to be anonymous was seen as a virtue. So too was unfettered speech. But the success of terrorist groups in exploiting social media platforms to promote their agendas is now putting internet brands in an uncomfortable position.
NEW YORK TIMES

Trump dings media in criticism of Facebook ads in ‘Russia hoax’
“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook,” Trump wrote on Twitter, renewing his characterization of the Russia investigations as a “hoax.” “What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” “
POLITICO

Is Fondant Free Speech? Chefs Show Support For Gay Marriage As Court Case Looms
Their creations were on display Tuesday night at the sixth annual Chefs for Equality in D.C., a fundraiser hosted by the Human Rights Campaign. Some 140 chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists participated in this year’s event. The theme: “Who Can Resist?”
NPR

‘Junk science’: experts cast doubt on widely cited college free speech survey
The eye-popping results have been widely cited in conservative media outlets and were written by a Washington Post opinion columnist. John Villasenor defended his survey as an important window into what he called a troubling atmosphere on American campuses in which “freedom of expression is deeply imperiled.”
THE GUARDIAN

 
Global

Spanish authorities try to shutter Catalan referendum websites
The Spanish authorities’ move to target this top-level domain raises serious concerns with those trying to defend internet freedom and the freedom of expression from such shutdowns. The technique is also used in attempts by governments to shut down parts of the internet and block or remove certain information.
POLITICO

Human Rights Group Prevented by Police and Anti-Communist Mob From Commemorating 1965 Massacre in Indonesia
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance pointed out that the “arbitrary action” of the police to set up a blockade led to the “forceful disbandment” of the seminar. It warned that this “raised concern on the situation of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association in the largest democracy in Southeast Asia.”
GLOBAL VOICES

Freedom from fear — On Tripura journalist murder
It would be a blow against the freedom of the press if Bhowmik’s death is not investigated for what it is: because first reports indicate that he did not die in the crossfire, he was targeted. The murder is a reminder of the dangerous circumstances journalists report in and the physical threat they wear as a second skin.
THE HINDU

UGANDA: US ambassador’s civil rights concerns misplaced
Media Centre Executive Director Ofwono Opondo issued a statement this afternoon responding to US Ambassador Malac’s concerns, “While we value diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world, Uganda is not very keen to take unqualified lectures from foreign agents.”
THE INDEPENDENT

Why one Saudi journalist may not be going home anytime soon
The title of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s op-ed is “Saudi Arabia wasn’t always this repressive. Now it’s unbearable.” It is unusual for a Saudi writer to criticize the kingdom’s authoritarian rule, and publishing in The Washington Post made Khashoggi’s critique hard to ignore.
PRI

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