Taiwan News: Sri Lankan government urged to lift block on social media. “After a week-long shutdown of popular social media networks, journalists and rights activists are demanding the Sri Lankan government lift the censorship after anti-Muslim violence. Freddie Gamage of the Professional Web Journalists’ Association said the government could have used existing laws to prevent spreading of hate speech and punished those instigating violence, instead of blocking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Viber and WhatsApp.”
The Guardian: Sri Lanka blocks social media as deadly violence continues. “At least two people have been killed and eight others injured in anti-Muslim riots in a popular tourist district in central Sri Lanka as the government blocked Facebook and other social media services in an effort to quell the violence.”
Quartz: The internet, slow and sketchy, is back in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions—for now. “Access Now, a global advocacy group that has been pushing leaders to stop disrupting the internet under the #KeepItOn campaign, confirmed the internet was back as of Thursday (Mar. 1). While social media sites were back, users continued to complain about pages uploading slowly while some websites still couldn’t be accessed without a virtual private network.”
Internet Policy Observatory: Researching ICT companies: A field guide for civil society researchers. “In this white paper, we outline some of the challenges we have identified as being particularly acute for policy researchers, as well as strategies for working through (and around) those issues. Advocating for civil society, human rights, and democratic values today often requires understanding the role played by ICT companies in deciding what kinds of speech are allowed (or not) on various platforms, in complying (or not) with government requests to restrict content or for user information, and in lobbying governments to enact (or not) various laws and regulations. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies are expected to respect human rights even as nation-states retain primary responsibility for protecting human rights. As is true of many UN norms, the Guiding Principles lack a formal enforcement mechanism, so other, often soft measures have been employed in order to enact results, or even to simply gain information.” ICT stands for Information, Communications, and Technology companies. You can get more information in this article from Michaelsons.
Thompson Reuters: Digital girls database to unlock “invisible” discrimination. “Researchers are closer to understanding the ‘invisible’ lives of millions of girls – why they flunk school or marry young – with the launch on Wednesday of a digital database tracking girls’ rights around the globe. The database will log policy documents on issues from health to marriage to education, a children’s aid agency said, with the hope that greater scrutiny will improve their life chances.”
Online Journalism Blog: Building the first central database of victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. “125,000 people died, disappeared or were repressed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and during the Franco dictatorship, according to historians. Many of their families still do not know, 40 years later, what exactly happened to them. Now the Innovation and Human Rights (IHR) association has created the first central database of casualties, missing persons and reprisals during the Spanish Civil War and under Francoism.”
The Guardian: Chechen leader’s Instagram closure ‘led to revenge attacks’ on NGO. “The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s anger over the loss of his Instagram account due to US sanctions probably led to ongoing attacks against Russia’s oldest human rights organisation, members of the group have said. Memorial – the only human rights organisation with a presence in Chechnya – last week had its offices in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia torched by masked men. The attack came days after Oyub Titiev, the head of Memorial’s office in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was arrested for possession of six ounces of cannabis, charges that could bring a 10-year prison sentence.”