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Republicans push measures to increase protections for proclivities of religious students on college campuses, and other conservative provisions. Facebook elevates attention to false rumor-mongering surrounding Amtrak crash involving Republican members of Congress. Report documents surge in white supremacist propaganda on campus. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


Republicans Tack a Conservative Campus Wish List to a Major Education Bill
A 590-page higher-education bill working its way through Congress is a wish list for a wide range of people, groups, and colleges claiming that their First Amendment rights—freedom of speech, religion, or assembly—are being trampled.

Facebook Pushes ‘False Flag’ Amtrak Conspiracies in Trending Section
Facebook once again surfaced wild conspiracy theories about ‘commie-lib resisters’ and Hillary Clinton staging terror attacks on Amtrak in a part of its Trending News section.

White Supremacists Targeting College Campuses More Than Ever
Data collected from media reports and social media postings reports white supremacist groups flocking to college campuses at an increased rate, spreading propaganda in hope of luring new followers.

Statehouses Are the New Arena in the Battle for Net Neutrality
After the FCC vote to repeal net neutrality last December, Republicans and Democrats across the U.S. are looking at executive orders and bills that limit ISPs ability to flout net neutrality principles.


Reuters Reporters Arrested Under Myanmar Secrets Act Denied Bail *PEN Case List
A court in Myanmar declined to grant bail on Thursday for two Reuters journalists accused of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act, although their defense lawyer said information in documents at the center of the case was publicly available.

The Rapid Rise of Censorship in Southeast Asia
What started out as a move to limit access to certain “illicit” sites, such as those hosting pornography or copyrighted content, has morphed into broad, unchecked power by each country’s internet governing agencies to block access to sites and arrest citizens for what they post on social media.

Paris Court Hears Facebook ‘Censorship’ Case Over Nude Art
A French teacher, whose Facebook account was suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting, is suing the California-based social network for alleged “censorship”.

‘A Crisis for Human Rights’: New Index Reveals Global Fall in Basic Justice
Fundamental human rights, such as non-discrimination, freedom of expression and religion, the right to privacy and workers’ rights, are reported to have diminished in almost two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed for the 2018 Rule of Law Index.

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