It is election season, and freedom of speech is under attack, not just in the United States but across the globe, with social media doing their share to censor speech.
Internet freedom has declined for the 10th consecutive year as governments worldwide are using the coronavirus pandemic as a “cover” to expand online surveillance, crackdown on dissent, and build new technological systems to control society, Freedom House says in a new report.
“The pandemic is accelerating society’s reliance on digital technologies at a time when the Internet is becoming less and less free,” Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz.
“Without adequate safeguards for privacy and the rule of law, these technologies can be easily repurposed for political repression.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists reported 1,384 journalists were killed between 1992–2020.
Arnon Nampa brought up his demand for reform of the monarchy during a Harry Potter-themed protestin Bangkok. He is the first person in over a decade to break the taboo of criticizing the high institution in public on Thai soil. His statement came so abruptly that, worried about the consequences, most mainstream media pulled the plug on their Facebook Live reporting at the demonstration.
In Hong Kong, now under China control, the security law scares citizens into scrubbing social media, imposing self-censorship.
In Turkey, a new law proposed threatens press freedom. The draft said it would require social media companies with more than one million users in Turkey to store those users’ data in the country, and open offices staffed with local representatives. The draft also said that the companies will be required to remove content that violates “personal rights” and the “privacy of personal life” from their sites within 48 hours of receiving a court order. Search engines could also be required to remove links to such content.
49 journalists have been detained in Belarus.
South African journalists have been attacked covering the farming protests.
And in the United States, we have Twitter and Facebook actively censoring information not favorable to the Democratic Party. Senator Ted Cruz announced this morning that the senate will subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to come before their committee to address the meddling of a presidential election after Twitter blocked him and others from sharing a story from The Post that describes Hunter Biden’s pursuit of a China business deal described by documents on an alleged hard drive formerly belonging to the Democratic presidential candidate’s son.
The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.