Tag: Freedom of Speech and Expression

Planned Parenthood Awarded $2 Million in Lawsuit Over Secret Videos

Planned Parenthood was awarded as much as $2.2 million in damages on Friday, after a federal jury in San Francisco ruled that an anti-abortion activist had broken federal and state laws when he secretly recorded workers for the organization. The activist, David R. Daleiden, recorded the videos in 2015 in an attempt to show that […]

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Is It a Crime to Encourage Unauthorized Immigration? The Supreme Court Will Decide

WASHINGTON — A 1986 federal law makes it a crime to “encourage” unauthorized immigrants to come to or stay in the United States. “The statute potentially criminalizes the simple words — spoken to a son, a wife, a parent, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a student, a client — ‘I encourage you to stay […]

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The Unlikely Birth of Free Speech

For all the horrors that marked 1919 in America — the race riots, the terrorist attacks, the labor unrest — there was one unquestionably positive development. On Nov. 10, a hundred years ago Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes issued a remarkable opinion that gave birth to our modern understanding of free speech. It […]

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The Real Reason Facebook Won’t Fact-Check Political Ads

When Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, announced on Wednesday that Twitter would no longer host political advertisements, he scored points with those who lament the ways social media platforms have polluted political culture. At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg responded by reaffirming that his company would continue to distribute political ads without fact-checking them. “In a democracy, […]

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Netflix Expands Into a World Full of Censors

ISTANBUL — In September, Netflix released a trailer for the “Breaking Bad” sequel “El Camino.” In it, a character sits in a car, lights a cigarette and holds it out the window, its orange tip glowing. The next day, Netflix Turkey released its own version. In it, the character sparks a lighter and puts his […]

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Aaron Sorkin: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Mark, In 2011, I wrote “The Social Network” and I know you wish I hadn’t. You protested that the film was inaccurate and that Hollywood didn’t understand that some people build things just for the sake of building them. (We do understand that — we do it every day.) I didn’t push back on your […]

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Dissent Erupts at Facebook Over Hands-Off Stance on Political Ads

SAN FRANCISCO — The letter was aimed at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and his top lieutenants. It decried the social network’s recent decision to let politicians post any claims they wanted — even false ones — in ads on the site. It asked Facebook’s leaders to rethink the stance. Facebook’s position on political advertising […]

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Those College Students Who Used the N-Word Shouldn’t Have Been Arrested

Imagine if the cast members of “The Book of Mormon” could be arrested and prosecuted for ridiculing Mormons. Preposterous, you say? The idea is not entirely fantastical. A law in Connecticut criminalizes anyone who “ridicules or holds up to contempt” a person or group because of “creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.” Violators are […]

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The Chinese Threat to American Speech

China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s core values: the freedom of expression. The Communist state is becoming more and more aggressive in pressuring foreign […]

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Zuckerberg, Inflaming Debate, Asserts Facebook Stands for Free Expression

WASHINGTON — Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday gave a full-throated defense of Facebook as a champion of free expression, aiming to put the social network above politics as impeachment proceedings over President Trump and the 2020 presidential election have increasingly made his company a target. In a winding, 35-minute speech at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall — […]

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Changing Section 230 Would Strengthen the Biggest Tech Companies

Who benefits from Section 230, the federal law that shields online platforms from liability for content posted by users? According to commentators and politicians, Section 230 helps only large tech companies. But the biggest beneficiaries of Section 230 are internet users, not internet companies. Before Congress undermines Section 230, it must understand how users rely […]

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Australian Booksellers Block Sales of Ronan Farrow’s Book

SYDNEY, Australia — Two of Australia’s biggest online booksellers have suspended sales of Ronan Farrow’s new book after one of the men who is prominent in it threatened legal action. The book, “Catch and Kill,” which details Farrow’s investigation of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was unavailable on Booktopia, a major Australian online book retailer, […]

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China’s N.B.A. Fans Feel the Tug of Loyalty — Toward Beijing

SHANGHAI — The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets tipped off on Thursday night in Shanghai in, undoubtedly, the most geopolitically important exhibition game in N.B.A. history. Yezi Zhang, a college student, was there, too, and her emotions were decidedly mixed. Ms. Zhang, a 24-year-old from the city of Hangzhou, was among a few […]

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Asked About N.B.A. Spat With China, Trump Instead Blasts Kerr and Popovich

President Trump declined to criticize China’s handling of a free speech dispute with the N.B.A. on Wednesday, instead opting to blast two basketball coaches who have spoken out against the president in the past. “They have to work out their own situation,” Trump said of the escalating dispute between the league and China, where two […]

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Blizzard, a Gaming Company, Stirs a Backlash for Penalizing Hong Kong Player

HONG KONG — Activision Blizzard became the latest American company to find itself caught between its business interests in China and the values of its core customers after it suspended an e-sports player who voiced support for the Hong Kong protests during a live broadcast. The decision to suspend Chung Ng Wai, a professional Hearthstone […]

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N.B.A. Commissioner Defends Daryl Morey as Chinese Companies Cut Ties

The main state television broadcaster in China announced Tuesday that it would not broadcast two N.B.A. preseason games scheduled for this week in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as the firestorm over a team executive’s Twitter post supportive of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong continued to escalate. In its statement, the broadcaster, China Central Television, chided Adam […]

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U.S. Using Trade Deals to Shield Tech Giants From Foreign Regulators

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home. The protections, which stem from a 1990s law, […]

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Free Speech Is Killing Us

There has never been a bright line between word and deed. Yet for years, the founders of Facebook and Twitter and 4chan and Reddit — along with the consumers obsessed with these products, and the investors who stood to profit from them — tried to pretend that the noxious speech prevalent on those platforms wouldn’t […]

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Is There Freedom of Speech in Germany?

HAMBURG, Germany — Germany doesn’t have a problem with free speech. It has two — or rather, it is caught between two very different conceptions of free speech, each of which has significant shortcomings and each of which is rooted in our inability to close the chasm that remains between eastern and western Germany, 30 […]

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