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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg goes public with a limited mea culpa and pledges to remedy gaps in security and information controls as some users close their accounts. Zuckerberg offers endorsement for stalled measures to extend offline federal regulations for election-related ads to apply online. Trump pounds so-called “fake news media” for calling him out on his failure to heed aides’ instruction on not congratulating Vladimir Putin for prevailing in a highly flawed election process. Senate passes Bill aimed at websites that host human trafficking ads. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


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


Zuckerberg Breaks Silence, Promises To Protect Facebook Community
After days of silence, Zuckerberg says he’s “sorry that this happened”, promises to further “restrict developers” data access to prevent other kinds of abuse, and take steps to fix the “breach of trust” between Facebooks and its users.

Zuckerberg: Maybe Tech Should Face Some Regulations
Amidst data scandal and after years of resisting legislative efforts in Congress, Zuckerberg now says he’s open to having Facebook regulated to encourage new transparency regulations for political advertisements.

Trump Defends Congratulatory Call to Putin, Saying Better Relations are a ‘Good Thing’
In a series of tweets, Trump blames “fake news” after being criticized for ignoring his aides’ instructions to not congratulate Putin on his victory in what is not considered a free election. “Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

Bill Enabling Prosecutors, Victims to Pursue Websites that Host Sex Traffickers Heads to White House
A bill aimed at websites that host sex trafficking ads is headed to Trump’s desk. The legislation was crafted in response to a report that revealed Backpage.com was creating loopholes to allow human traffickers to sell their victims online.

Charges Have Been Dropped Against Most Turkish Officers in D.C. Clash
Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against 11 of 15 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security team who were accused of being in connection with the beating of protesters during their visit to Washington last year.


When Writing Becomes a Crime *PEN Case List
The trial of Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji ranks as one of the most prominent cases in recent years. Naji has been accused of “violating public morals”, ranking his trial as one of the most prominent cases in recent years.

China Gives Communist Party More Control Over Policy and Media
China issued a blueprint that will sharpen the Communist Party’s power over films, books, and newspapers, while raising the profiles of secretive party groups that steer policy on the economy, the internet, and foreign affairs.

Censorship in China Turns Social Media into Tool of Repression
A new report says that the Chinese regime continues to tighten its grip on the internet and impose ever more aggressive censorship on Chinese social media while jailing those who dare to express dissent.

Doctored Photo Prompts a Keeper of the Pope’s Image to Step Down
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Dario Vigano, the head of the Vatican’s communications department, after accusations that the Vatican had spread the type of fake news the pope had recently denounced.

Tech Giants Express Concern Over Singapore Plan to Fight Fake News
Singapore is looking to introduce legislation, so far unspecified, to rein in fake news, a trend that has stirred concern that such laws could be used to exert government control over the media.

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