EFF: Reddit Commenter’s Fight for Anonynmity Is a Win for Free Speech and Fair Use. “A fight over unmasking an anonymous Reddit commenter has turned into a significant win for online speech and fair use. A federal court has affirmed the right to share copyrighted material for criticism and commentary, and shot down arguments that Internet users from outside the United States can’t ever rely on First Amendment protections for anonymous speech.”
Washington Post: White House declines to back Christchurch call to stamp out online extremism amid free speech concerns. “The United States broke with 18 governments and five top American tech firms Wednesday by declining to endorse a New Zealand-led effort to curb extremism online, a response to the live-streamed shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 51. White House officials said free-speech concerns prevented them from formally signing onto the largest campaign to date targeting extremism online. But it was another example of the United States standing at odds to some its closest allies.”
New York Times: Free Speech Puts U.S. on ‘a Collision Course’ With Global Limits on Big Tech. “When Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook called for regulating harmful internet content in an opinion column last month, Republicans in Washington expressed outrage that he was calling on the government to regulate speech. Within hours, the company’s top lobbyists started spreading another message to conservatives: Don’t take his suggestion too seriously.”
Columbia University: New Online Portal to Teach Free Speech Is Launched. “Columbia Global Freedom of Expression has launched a new teaching portal Freedom of Expression Without Frontiers, in partnership with 10 universities and civil society organizations from around the world, to promote the adoption of a global approach to the teaching of free speech.”
Michigan Radio: In trouble at school for social media posts? Now you can get legal help online. “Over the last eight years, [Nancy] Costello says she and her law students have responded to these cases by creating some 200 legal memos, ranging from copyright law (what if a student wants to use a Beyonce song in their class presentation?) to student journalism to libel suits. Yet the student questions kept coming. ‘I thought, this is just a microcosm of the rest of the country,’ Costello says. ‘So we decided to launch this national website.’ It’s called the McLellan Online Free Speech Library.”
Vanity Fair: “Men Are Scum”: Inside Facebook’s War On Hate Speech. “It’s nine A.M. on an autumn Tuesday, and I’m sitting in on a meeting about ‘men are scum’ at Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, California. The trouble started a year ago, in the fall of 2017. The #MeToo movement had recently begun. Nicole Silverberg, currently a writer on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, had shared on her Facebook page a trove of bilious comments directed at her after she’d written a list of ways men ‘need to do better.’ In the comments section beneath her post, another comic, Marcia Belsky, wrote, ‘Men are scum.’ Facebook kicked Belsky off the platform for 30 days.”
Stanford PACS: Glasnost! Nine Ways Facebook Can Make Itself a Better Forum for Free Speech and Democracy. “Facebook could make nine ‘incremental’ changes to ensure it becomes a better forum for free speech and democracy, according to a new report by academics at the University of Oxford in the UK and Stanford University in the US. Proposals include: an external appeals body; more user control over News Feeds; and better content review and fact-check mechanisms.” The report is available for free download at this link.