CNBC: Google contractors allege company prevents them from whistleblowing, writing Silicon Valley novels

CNBC: Google contractors allege company prevents them from whistleblowing, writing Silicon Valley novels. “Google contract employees are alleging the company’s confidentiality agreements prevent them from a range of legal rights from whistleblowing to telling their parents how much they make, according to a recent court filing. A California appeals court recently discussed a lawsuit accusing Alphabet’s Google and one of its staffing firms, Adecco, of violating a number of California labor laws, including free speech, by requiring workers to sign extensive confidentiality agreements.”

Washington Post: Trump’s assault on Twitter is an attack on the First Amendment

Washington Post: Trump’s assault on Twitter is an attack on the First Amendment. “President Trump’s ongoing assault against Twitter may represent the most egregious violation of the First Amendment by a president since Richard M. Nixon went to war against this newspaper almost half a century ago. Given the stakes, reaction has been strangely muted. Perhaps Americans have become accustomed to the president’s tweets and don’t believe he would do violence to his primary communications platform. Perhaps people are weary of the ceaseless controversies around social media. Regardless, the seriousness of what’s happening and the threat it represents to one of our country’s most basic principles must be confronted.”

As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like (Techdirt)

Techdirt: As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like. “On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking down content and shutting down accounts just like everyone else. Because, if you run any sort of platform that allows 3rd party speech, sooner or later you discover you have to do that. In Friday’s post, we highlighted Parler’s terms of service, which certainly allows for it to take down any content for any reason (we also mocked their ‘quick read on Wikipedia’ style understanding of the 1st Amendment). What we did not expect was that Parler would prove us right so damn quickly.”

Reuters: Google defeats conservative nonprofit’s YouTube censorship appeal

Reuters: Google defeats conservative nonprofit’s YouTube censorship appeal. “Google persuaded a federal appeals court on Wednesday to reject claims that YouTube illegally censors conservative content. In a 3-0 decision that could apply to platforms such as Facebook FB.O, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle found that YouTube was not a public forum subject to First Amendment scrutiny by judges.”

Techdirt: Supreme Court Signals Loud And Clear That Social Media Sites Are Not Public Forums That Have To Allow All Speech

Techdirt: Supreme Court Signals Loud And Clear That Social Media Sites Are Not Public Forums That Have To Allow All Speech. “Last fall I wrote about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case that some argued would allow the Supreme Court to declare that social media sites were public forums thereby limiting their ability to block or ban certain users.”

New York Times: Free Speech Puts U.S. on ‘a Collision Course’ With Global Limits on Big Tech

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.”

Michigan Radio: In trouble at school for social media posts? Now you can get legal help online

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.”

This week at Index: 45 years of Index magazine archive now free (Index on Censorship)

Index: This week at Index: 45 years of Index magazine archive now free. “Index on Censorship is pleased to announce that the online archive of 45 years of publications of Index on Censorship magazine, published by SAGE Publishing, will be free to read globally. Since its establishment in 1972, Index on Censorship magazine has published some of the greatest names in literature including Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Hilary Mantel and Kurt Vonnegut. It also has published some of the greatest campaigning writers of our age from Vaclav Havel to Amartya Sen and Ariel Dorfman plus journalism from Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, China, India, Turkey and more.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump. “Regulating algorithms might seem like entirely new legal territory, since Google and its cousins are only two decades old. But a newspaper case from 1974 has quite a bit to say about whether the government can control, under the First Amendment, companies’ algorithms and how they produce and organize information.”

TechCrunch: It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

TechCrunch: It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech . “Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a legal distinction between media publications and media platforms that has made solving hate speech online a vexing problem.”

BBC News: Trump told to mute Twitter critics, not block them, by New York judge

BBC News: Trump told to mute Twitter critics, not block them, by New York judge. “A judge has advised US President Donald Trump to mute rather than block his Twitter critics after users of the service filed a lawsuit against him. Seven people sued Mr Trump after he blocked them from seeing his tweets, arguing that it was unconstitutional. But District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald suggested the president mute the accounts he does not want to see.”

Nieman Lab: The Offshore Journalism Project would let newsrooms send a “distress signal” when their content is at risk of being lost forever

Nieman Lab: The Offshore Journalism Project would let newsrooms send a “distress signal” when their content is at risk of being lost forever. “PrimaDaNoi.it, which has a staff of four, has since 2010 been subject to 15 right-to-be-forgotten lawsuits, according to Alessandro Biancardi, the site’s editor and publisher. ‘As we publish the verdicts of criminal cases, people attack us and ask us to remove…almost as if they were ordering in a restaurant,’ Biancardi recently told Nicolas Kayser-Bril and Mario Tedeschini-Lalli, the founders of the Offshore Journalism Project — an initiative to ‘maximize free speech’ around the world by ‘exploiting different jurisdictions.’ That is, figuring out ways to let news publishers, especially those from European countries with right-to-be-forgotten laws, preserve their digital work by archiving it in countries with stronger freedom-of-speech laws, namely the United States.”

ProPublica: Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter

ProPublica: Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter. “Amanda Farber still doesn’t know why Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blocked her from his Facebook group. A resident of Bethesda and full-time parent and volunteer, Farber identifies as a Democrat but voted for the Republican Hogan in 2014. Farber says she doesn’t post on her representatives’ pages often. But earlier this year, she said she wrote on the governor’s Facebook page, asking him to oppose the Trump administration’s travel ban and health care proposal. She never received a response. When she later returned to the page, she noticed her comment had been deleted. She also noticed she had been blocked from commenting. (She is still allowed to share the governor’s posts and messages.)”