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Pressured by governments to remove extremist content, YouTube cuts its video archive of content from radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. President Trump laughs as Philippine president silences reporters asking about human rights abuses and calls them “spies.” Earlier in Vietnam, New York Times photographer tweets all-black “photo” as travelling press ‘pool’ has no access at economic summit. Right-wing media and Republican supporters of Alabama Senate contender Roy Moore push distrust of press as they seek to discredit Washington Post reporting on the GOP candidate. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


In ‘Watershed Moment,’ YouTube Blocks Extremist Cleric’s Message
The policy shift at YouTube comes in the face of a growing chorus of criticism for internet companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube. They had long argued that they were merely neutral platforms with no responsibility for what users posted.

Trump Laughs as Philippines President Calls Journalists “Spies”
“The conversation focused on ISIS, illegal drugs and trade. Human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. Duterte spokesman Harry Roque told CNN the human rights issue “was not brought up” in the private meeting

A Photo of Trump Awkwardly Trying to Execute a Group Handshake in Manila Shows the Value of an Independent Press
On Friday, Mills was part of the small group of traveling “press pool” members shadowing Trump in Danang, Vietnam, when he tweeted a “photo” of a black box to protest the White House’s decision to shut out the pool from any coverage of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meetings.

How Sinclair Compromised the News on an Alabama Station it Owns to Support Roy Moore
The reporter says she talked with “a lot of voters,” but her report includes interviews with three people. A meticulously researched Post story, based on interviews with more than 30 people, included on-the-record allegations that Moore initiated a relationship with and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.

Texas Photojournalist Goes on Trial in Trump Inauguration Riot Case
“This criminalization of everyone attending the same assembly is deeply troubling, but in the case of Cantú and Wood it raises special concerns for press freedom,” the letter from a group of press organizations said. “In order to cover these newsworthy events, journalists have to be present.”


Free Speech Fears After Book Critical of China is Pulled From Publication
While Australian publishers routinely deal with legal threats or court action from individuals named in books, it is exceptionally rare that a perceived threat from a foreign power prevents or delays publication. It raises serious questions about academic freedom and free speech in Australia.

Fake News Floods the Philippines
The internet in the Philippines has become a morass of fake news and conspiracy theories, harassment and bullying. This has muddied public discourse and cultivated a populist attitude toward democracy. What is true, or legal, is no longer important as long as the majority supports it. Responsibility has been discarded for partisanship.

Venezuelan Regime Intensifies Censorship, Introduces 20-Year Prison Sentence for “Hate Speech”
The dictatorship is also applying the law to the media. The law states: “The radio or television service providers who broadcasts messages that constitute propaganda in favor of war or who advocate national, racial, religious, political or other hatred will be sanctioned with the revoking of their media credentials.”

Somaliland is Blocking Social Media to Keep its Election Free of “Fake News”
The commission blamed what it called “external forces” for spreading “inciteful and tribalistic” information (in Somali) and decried its inability to control the proliferation of these messages. As a result, the sites will be down starting from when voting ends on Nov. 13 up until the results are declared.

Prominent Journalists Flee Russia Ahead of Presidential Election
“The most worrying aspect of these recent cases is the fact that now even prominent journalists at nationally known media outlets are being forced to flee because they feel so threatened,” as Christian Mihr, director of Reporters without Borders in Berlin told DW.

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