Article: A free press requires an open internet

Censorship, Media

A free press requires an open internet

Press freedom around the world depends on an open, reliable and secure internet.

Internet censorship and repression take many forms. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) regularly censors words, phrases and names published on the internet that it deems to be anti-communist and anti-government. It also limits access to many websites. Government-enforced internet shutdowns and network restrictions also inhibit freedom of expression, including for members of the press. In Venezuela, the government uses electricity and internet blackouts to inhibit access to information and control potential political unrest.

“Over the past 10 years, the entire spectrum of human rights are now enabled, facilitated, and accessed through the internet,” Access Now says. “We are prepared to address new technologies as they emerge, and to bring the implications for human rights to the fore.”

Article: Free speech friendly video sharing platforms

Access, Censorship, Media, Open Source

Free speech friendly video sharing platformsFree speech friendly video sharing platforms

Use a provider that’s not controlled by a Big Tech giant and that supports free expression.

As YouTube continues to censor, these alternatives are rising up to empower viewers and creators. Use them. Tell friends and family about them. Tell creators to use them.

  • Odysee
  • BitChute
  • Rumble
  • GabTV
  • Brighteon
  • BitTube
  • DTube
  • 3Speak
  • Theta Network
  • PeerTube
  • AltCensored

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Article: Brave reveals why it is disabling Google’s FLoC in the browser

Censorship, Software

Brave reveals why it is disabling Google’s FLoC in the browser

Brave focuses on three aspects of FLoC that it believes make the Web head in the wrong direction:

  • Sites are informed about browsing habits, even if users never visited them — this is a very strong argument, considering that sites did not know anything about a user if that user never visited the site; this is especially true for users who disable third-party cookies in their browsers, and use other protective means. For the average user, FLoC will still reveal more about their interests than before.
  • FLoC adds a strong identifier for fingerprinting — FLoC’s cohorts are made up of thousands of users, but that is a tiny group when it comes to fingerprinting. Coupled with other fingerprinting techniques, it could pave the way for improving fingerprinting accuracy.
  • Google should not be the one determining what is sensitive and what is not — Google wants to exclude sensitive categories, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and others from being used by FLoC, to avoid creating cohorts made up of these groups. To exclude these, Google somehow needs to know about these, as it would not be able to make the determination otherwise.

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Article: The battle between Big Tech and the free press

Access, Censorship, Media

The battle between Big Tech and the free press

Worldwide, the free press is waging a battle for survival against Facebook and Google. Besides being gushing firehoses of Covid disinformation and QAnon conspiracies, Google and Facebook have been dangerously undermining the financial stability of media outlets all over the world.

Note that Google and Facebook could tweak their design and algorithms to purposefully drive users to the original news sources’ websites. But they don’t. They prefer to repackage and monetise product from the original producer without paying for it. In other industries, that’s called theft.

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Article: Study: Facebook delivers biased job ads, skewed by gender

Censorship, Media

Study: Facebook delivers biased job ads, skewed by gender

Facebook is showing different job ads to women and men in a way that might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws, according to a new study.

University of Southern California researchers who examined the ad-delivery algorithms of Facebook and LinkedIn found that Facebook’s were skewed by gender beyond what can be legally justified by differences in job qualifications.

Men were more likely to see Domino’s pizza delivery driver job ads on Facebook, while women were more likely to see Instacart shopper ads.

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Article: Why We’ve Committed Ourselves to Fighting Online Censorship

Censorship, Deplatforming, Media

Why We’ve Committed Ourselves to Fighting Online Censorship

As these platforms have increasingly become monopolies, their impact on the political future of the country has become far more extensive than current legal remedies were designed to resolve. Google (including its subsidiary, YouTube) can effectively make a website disappear. Twitter and Facebook (including its subsidiaries, such as Instagram and WhatsApp) can become an effective government censorship or propaganda tool—not altogether unlike how social media is leveraged in China. Amazon, as we saw earlier this year, can effectively ban books. 

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Article: Fights over free speech and the future of social media

Censorship, Deplatforming, Media
Fights over free speech and the future of social media

Would you say social media platforms offer “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse?”

Congress used this language over 20 years ago to describe the internet when it passed Section 230, a federal law that provides liability protection for online service providers when they transmit or take down user-generated content. While the internet generally does offer such a forum, on social media platforms, it is disappearing.

Big Tech, including social media platforms, are now under the microscope, and legislators have very different ideas on what, if anything, needs to be done. The recent hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee — billed as an investigation of digital misinformation among Facebook, Twitter and Google — showed just how divided members of Congress, both parties and the public are on the future of social media.

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Article: Jillian York and Karen Gullo (counterpoint): Users, not government, should control online speech

Censorship, Deplatforming, Governance, Media

Jillian York and Karen Gullo (counterpoint): Users, not government, should control online speech

Big tech companies would have more control over online speech than they already have because they can afford the legal fights that will scare off new entrants to the market. What’s more, they would push legal, protected speech offline, and silence the voices of marginalized and less powerful people who rely on the internet to speak out — a diverse set of people that includes activists, journalists, LGBTQ individuals and many more.

Instead, users should have more power to control what they see on their feeds. They should be able to move freely with their data from one platform to another when they don’t like what they see.

Article: Letter: Censorship is not the way forward

Censorship

Letter: Censorship is not the way forward

We are privileged to live in a constitutional democracy with a right to free speech. We have the right to exchange thoughts and beliefs with those with whom we agree, and I believe, the responsibility to listen to those with whom we disagree.

Our country faces many challenges that concern all of us. We will meet these challenges by listening to each other with open minds and hearts and striving to find a path forward together, not by censoring the speech of those with whom we disagree.

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Article: Justice Clarence Thomas Takes Aim At Tech And Its Power ‘To Cut Off Speech’

Censorship, Deplatforming

Justice Clarence Thomas Takes Aim At Tech And Its Power ‘To Cut Off Speech’

Others applauded Thomas’ remarks, including Rachel Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

“The Thomas concurrence regarding Big Tech has everything: 1) legitimizing the threat of concentrated corporate power; 2) Google gatekeeping info for 90% of the world; 3) gov’t outsourcing censorship; 4) justifications for common carrier regulation,” Bovard tweeted.

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