Quartz: With a Google spreadsheet, a web sleuth tracks the comments that get people jailed in China

New-to-me, from Quartz: With a Google spreadsheet, a web sleuth tracks the comments that get people jailed in China. “…since October 2019, a young web sleuth surnamed Wang has been creating a database of cases in which people were punished for online or offline comments critical of the central government. Based on media reports and court records, Wang has documented nearly 2,000 speech crimes in a public Google spreadsheet, arguably one of the few comprehensive records of these ‘crimes’ in China. Censorship makes finding information on such cases a challenge, and the risks associated with creating a database like Wang’s are a deterrent for most.”

New York Times: China Punishes Those Who Question ‘Martyrs.’ A Sleuth Keeps Track.

New York Times: China Punishes Those Who Question ‘Martyrs.’ A Sleuth Keeps Track.. “At least seven people over the past week have been threatened, detained or arrested after casting doubt over the government’s account of the deaths of Chinese soldiers during a clash last year with Indian troops. Three of them are being detained for between seven and 15 days. The other four face criminal charges, including one man who lives outside China…. Their punishment might have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for an online database of speech crimes in China.”

Foreign Policy: How to Judge Facebook’s New Judges

Foreign Policy: How to Judge Facebook’s New Judges. “In the third quarter of 2020, Facebook deleted 22.1 million pieces of content for violating its ban against hate speech; a steep increase from the 2.5 million pieces of content deleted in Q1 of 2018. Almost 95 percent of the purged hate speech in 2020 was proactively identified by AI before any human user notified Facebook—up from 38 percent in 2018. Whether the millions of posts and comments deleted for hate speech and other prohibited categories each month live up the Facebook’s own standards—or indeed human-rights standards—is an open question, since purged content is not available to the public.”

TechCrunch: Hands on with Telepath, the social network taking aim at abuse, fake news and, to some extent, ‘free speech’

TechCrunch: Hands on with Telepath, the social network taking aim at abuse, fake news and, to some extent, ‘free speech’. “Today, a number of new social networks are trying to flip the old model on its head — whether that’s attempting to use audio for more personal connections, like Clubhouse, eliminate clout chasing, like Twelv, or, in the case of new social network Telepath, by designing a platform guided by rules that focus on enforcing kindness, countering abuse, and disabling the spread of fake news.”

The 961: Lebanese University Students Are Now Banned From Complaining On Social Media

The 961: Lebanese University Students Are Now Banned From Complaining On Social Media. “It is safe to say that the 2019-2020 academic year has been a very stressful road for Lebanon’s students, especially for the students of the state-run Lebanese University. All year long, they have shared their frustrations and concerns over unreasonable regulations on social media. Now, the university just released a statement warning against online complaining when it comes to its decisions. Students who wish to register for the academic year of 2020-2021 are asked to pledge to abide by that new rule that oppresses their freedom of expression.”

Knight First Amendment Institute: Knight Institute Sues President for Continuing to Block Twitter Critics

Knight First Amendment Institute: Knight Institute Sues President for Continuing to Block Twitter Critics. “The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University today filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his staff for continuing to block critics from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. The legal action was filed on behalf of five individuals who remain blocked two years after a federal court held—in an earlier case brought by the Knight Institute—that the president’s Twitter account is a public forum and the president violated the First Amendment by blocking people on the basis of viewpoint.”

CNN: Four Hong Kong student activists arrested for ‘secession’ over social media posts

CNN: Four Hong Kong student activists arrested for ‘secession’ over social media posts. “Police in Hong Kong have arrested four members of a student-led pro-independence group for suspected secessionist offenses on social media under the city’s sweeping new national security law. The arrests are among the first since the law was imposed on the city by China on July 1, which also criminalized subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.”

EFF to Court: Social Media Users Have Privacy and Free Speech Interests in Their Public Information (EFF)

EFF: EFF to Court: Social Media Users Have Privacy and Free Speech Interests in Their Public Information. “Visa applicants to the United States are required to disclose personal information including their work, travel, and family histories. And as of May 2019, they are required to register their social media accounts with the U.S. government. According to the State Department, approximately 14.7 million people will be affected by this new policy each year. EFF recently filed an amicus brief in Doc Society v. Pompeo, a case challenging this ‘Registration Requirement’ under the First Amendment.”

Slate: What Twitter Should Have Done Differently From the Very Beginning

Slate: What Twitter Should Have Done Differently From the Very Beginning. “In order to understand how a private company largely built on the idea of freedom of expression has found itself embroiled in a national free speech controversy, I spoke with Blaine Cook, Twitter’s former lead developer, who worked at the company from 2006, during its founding, through 2008. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed Twitter’s founding principles, the importance of moderating online communities, and Cook’s take on the company’s latest move.”

Reporters Without Borders: RSF opens “The Uncensored Library” – The digital home of Press Freedom within a global computer game

Reporters Without Borders: RSF opens “The Uncensored Library” – The digital home of Press Freedom within a global computer game . “In many countries around the world, there is no free access to information. Web- sites are blocked, independent newspapers are banned and the press is controlled by the state. Young people grow up without being able to form their own opinions. By using Minecraft, the world’s most popular computer game, as a medium, we give them access to independent information.”

Slate: Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?

Slate: Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?. “I no longer think that tolerance of disruptive speech is invariably the best answer, although, even now, I believe it’s typically the best first response. I also think the too-much-free-speech folks are being shortsighted themselves, because we’ve entered an era in which we need more disintermediated free speakers and free speech, not less.”