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Mark Zuckerberg opens congressional testimony with acknowledgment that the social media platform has responsibility for content posted by users, turning aside a long-time contention to the contrary that has served to slow responses to online hate speech and misinformation. Right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group levels attack at CNN with video promoted on its many TV stations as it responds to criticism of its use of local anchors to promote its views. Ongoing probe shows National Football League teams restrict their cheerleaders’ personal social media profiles. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Zuckerberg apologizes, promises reform as senators grill him over Facebook’s failings
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg endured an hours-long grilling by dozens of U.S. senators, during which he repeatedly apologized and promised privacy reforms but also pointedly defended his company against the threat of new legislation.

Sinclair Broadcasting Slaps CNN Attack Video On Its Stations’ Websites
Sinclair Broadcast Group, continuing to conscript its local TV stations as soldiers in Donald Trump’s war on media, has slapped a video attacking CNN at the top of those stations’ websites.

How N.F.L. Teams Use Social Media to Promote, and Control, Cheerleaders
While the rules among teams vary, nearly all N.F.L. teams exert tight control over cheerleaders’ online activities. The teams say that their motive is to protect the cheerleaders from stalkers; many cheerleaders are skeptical of that claim.

Laura Ingraham returns following boycott, says liberals ‘cutting off free speech’
Fox News host Laura Ingraham returned to her show Monday following a week vacation in the middle of a mass exodus of the program’s advertisers over controversial remarks she made about a Parkland shooting survivor. Ingraham focused on freedom of speech in her first show back, and attacked the left’s alleged stifling of conservative voices.


Myanmar judge rejects request for dismissal of case against two jailed Reuters reporters *PEN Case List
A judge rejected a request for dismissal of a case against Wa Lone (who turns 32 today) and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar after being accused of possessing secret government papers, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of up to 14 years. In contrast, seven Myanmar soldiers who participated in the massacre exposed by the reporters have been sentenced to 10 years.


EU threatens to crack down on Facebook over hate speech
A loss of trust in Facebook in the light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal could prompt the E.U. to scrap its voluntary code of conduct on the removal of online hate speech in favor of legislation and heavy sanctions, the European commission said.

Russian activists arrested for sexual harassment protest
Three Russian activists have been arrested and charged with staging an unlawful protest in what they claim is an official backlash against their campaign for sexual harassment allegations made against MP Leonid Slutsky to be taken seriously.

Viktor Orban, after soaring to reelection win in Hungary, to target George Soros, and NGOs
Hours after his reelection in Hungary, Viktor Orban’s representatives announced what they are calling the “Stop Soros” bill, designed to crack down on liberal NGOs, think tanks, and other institutions that, in the eyes of the government, have worked against their agenda and on behalf of the migrants Orban seeks to keep out.

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