August, 2020

Stories from August, 2020

Concerned citizens petition Timor-Leste authorities to drop planned revival of defamation law

"This proposed law is to protect those in power from criticism when they commit any act of corruption and any other acts of crime."

An earthquake shook Tanzania. A new law prohibits citizens from speaking about it online.

Revised online content regulations in Tanzania prohibit talking about pandemics, natural disasters or politics without government approval. Is it possible to control essential online conversations? If so, at what cost? 

Building safer online spaces in Myanmar

“Facebook was, and continues to be, the favored tool for disseminating hate speech and misinformation against the Rohingya people, Muslims in general, and other marginalized communities.”

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Upon his arrest, Hong Kong police raided the office building of his news outlets.

Human rights defenders and journalists under attack in Southeast Asia

The past two weeks saw several disturbing cases of arrests, convictions, and raids targeting human rights activists and journalists in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Belarus shuts down internet as thousands protest election results

As Alexander Lukashenka won a sixth consecutive term as president on August 10, Belarusians across the country faced difficulties getting online. Digital rights activists blame the authorities; the authorities blame...

How the murder of musician Hachalu Hundessa incited violence in Ethiopia: Part II

Within an hour of musician Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination, Ethiopians netizens hit social media with scattershot conspiracy theories, hate speech & disinformation campaigns — particularly on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

How the murder of musician Hachalu Hundessa incited violence in Ethiopia: Part I

In the wake of musician Hachalu Hundessa's murder, Ethiopia has struggled to come to terms with the violence and turmoil that erupted along ethnic and religious faultlines.

COVID-19 and China's information control policy

China’s strategy to control information and its consequences has become a global concern.

Another Australian university criticized for censoring voices supporting Hong Kong's human rights

An Australian university was criticized for deleting an article published on its website that urges the international community to put pressure on China for infringements on human rights in Hong Kong.

The chilling tale of mass surveillance and spying in Rwanda

Rwanda justifies its tight control over media freedom, suppression of dissent, and hostility toward opposition as matters of national unity and security.

In the age of misinformation, who holds the power to categorize the ‘truth'? 

Over time, the categorization of information can result in the dominance of a single world view, making platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google the central arbiters of truth. 

Moderate globally, impact locally: A series on content moderation in the Global South

''Even as the platforms have grown and spread around the world, the center of gravity of these debates continues to revolve around D.C. and San Francisco.''

Digital rights remain under threat in Malawi despite historic win for democracy

Will the change in the country's leadership bring about meaningful changes to ensure that Malawians enjoy human rights in the digital space?

New Facebook Oversight Board must remove content of notorious Sudan militia

“Despite the harrowing violations, the RSF maintains a presence on social media, most notably Facebook, which has been the main platform for this militia to spread its messages …”

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