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Fighting censorship with blockchain… and Minecraft – Decrypt

fighting censorship with blockchain… and minecraft – decrypt

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Block-based sandbox game Minecraft is the last place prying government censors expect to find subversive content. Should a government block Minecraft, the most popular game in the world, the whole world would know in an instant. That’s why Reporters without Borders, the NGO that champions press freedom, created The Uncensored Library— an ornate archive of works from prominent censored journalists, hosted in Minecraft.Climb the stairs of the high-domed library, which sprawls inward from an island whose shores are open to anyone with an internet connection, and you’ll reach rooms packed with works from censored journalists. Jamal Khashoggi—a Saudi Arabian dissident who was assassinated in Turkey in 2018—and Yulia Berezovskaia, an exiled journalist who runs a banned website in Russia, fill some of the 200 books on offer. 

The Uncensored Library was designed by Reporters Without Borders in collaboration with BlockWorks, a London-based company that builds elaborate Minecraft worlds, alongside two media agencies. Comprising two million blocks, the library can be downloaded from BlockWorks’ website—and already it’s taken on a life of its own. “We already have cases of many other people hosting the library on their own server,”  James Delaney, founder of BlockWorks, told Decrypt. “ …

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MPs grill Twitter and Facebook over Trump censorship issue – NS Tech

mps grill twitter and facebook over trump censorship issue – ns tech

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UK MPs have joined the call for President Trump to be censored from social media platforms due to his incendiary tweets about the US anti-racism protests currently underway.
Despite the fact that the statement in question – where Trump deployed the historically racist phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” – has been widely broadcast by TV networks and newspapers across the world, MPs – who were grilling reps from Twitter and Facebook at the latest online harms parliamentary committee meeting yesterday – were concerned about the words being allowed to remain on Twitter and Facebook.
Following Labour MP Kevin Brennan’s spluttering incredulity over head of product policy and counterterrorism at Facebook Monika Bickert’s claim not to have seen the the New York Times letter penned by disgruntled Facebook employees, Bickert responded that the post had been allowed to remain up because it’s the platform’s policy to allow discussion of government use of force.
“We think if governments are talking about using force, people should be able to discuss that […] frequently, there could be a safety reason that people would want to know what governments are planning,” said Bickert.
Twitter – which allowed the tweet to remain up but amended …

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The Trump campaign cries censorship after Twitter removes a video about George Floyd on copyright grounds

Information Access and Management (IAM) Platform powers IAM Network - 60,000 + engaged information professionals worldwide.

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Twitter removed a video posted by the Trump campaign’s official account after the company received a copyright complaint.The video was a four-minute speech by the president about the death of George Floyd, played over stills and clips from the protests.This isn’t the first time Twitter has removed a video from Trump on copyright grounds. In 2019 it took down a meme of his because it used a clip from Nickelback’s “Photograph.”Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Twitter has taken down a video tribute to George Floyd posted by the Trump campaign’s official account, further escalating tensions with the president.The video, posted by @TeamTrump on Wednesday, is almost four minutes long and features a speech from the president played over various photos and videos to sad piano music.In it Trump describes the murder of George Floyd as a “grave tragedy,” and says his memory is being “dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists.” He also claims “violence and vandalism is being led by antifa and other radical left-wing groups.” The video, entitled “Healing, not Hatred” is still up on the president’s YouTube channel.

Twitter

A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill it took the video down on Thursday …

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Ex-NY Times reporter accuses Amazon of trying to censor booklet about coronavirus lockdowns

ex-ny times reporter accuses amazon of trying to censor booklet about coronavirus lockdowns

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Former New York Times reporter and author Alex Berenson joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday to address Amazon’s initial refusal to publish his booklet expressing skepticism about the effectiveness of coronavirus lockdowns.”They told me this morning they weren’t going to publish it and then some, you know, some people with loud voices said that was wrong and they backed off,” Berenson said. “It’s a good day.”FORMER NY TIMES REPORTER BASHES GOVERNORS OVER CORONAVIRUS TOLL IN NURSING HOMES: ‘A LOT TO ANSWER FOR’“Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1,” which included an introduction and a section on death counts and estimates, was expected to become available on Amazon Thursday but Berenson told host Tucker Carlson he woke up to an email from the online retailer informing him they would not publish it.”They just sent an email saying something like… it didn’t conform to their standards. They were encouraging people to use official sources about COVID-19,” said Berenson.Amazon made the booklet available after complaints from, among others, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who called for Amazon to be broken up. Berenson told Carlson Thursday night that the web giant never apologized directly to him before publicly apologizing and changing …

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Mark Zuckerberg stands up against censorship

mark zuckerberg stands up against censorship

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is coming down in favor of free speech, and good for him. Too bad other social-media honchos can’t embrace the same principle.
Zuck is refusing to follow Twitter and Snapchat in flagging or censoring President Trump’s social-media posts, even after hundreds of his employees staged a virtual walk-out in protest.

Last Friday, Twitter hid a tweet from Trump that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” behind a warning label citing a (rarely enforced) policy against “glorifying violence.” And Snapchat on Wednesday said it would no longer promote Trump’s posts on its “Discover” page — curated content from prominent accounts — because, well, he’s Trump.
Zuckerberg has plainly realized that he can’t go down that road and still claim Facebook is a simple platform.
So while he calls the prez’s remarks “deeply offensive,” Zuck says they don’t violate Facebook’s “incitement to violence” policy.
And it’s better that people should be able to see and judge the words for themselves — Trump’s words or any other politician’s: “We should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers …

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Alex Berenson’s coronavirus booklet hits Amazon after Elon Musk, others call out online retailer for ‘censorship’

alex berenson’s coronavirus booklet hits amazon after elon musk, others call out online retailer for ‘censorship’

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Amazon is selling former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on coronavirus after initially claiming it didn’t meet the online retailer’s guidelines – as help rolled in from the likes of journalist Glenn Greenwald and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who considered the move blatant censorship.“Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1,” which included an introduction and a section on death counts and estimates, was expected to hit Jeff Bezos’ Amazon on Thursday but Berenson said he woke up to an alarming email.“They said, ‘we’re rejecting this,’” Berenson told Fox News. “It didn’t say, ‘you can appeal,’ it didn’t say, ‘here is who you should email if you have a question.’ It just said, ‘This is rejected.’”
Amazon is selling Alex Berenson’s booklet on coronavirus after initially claiming it didn’t meet online retailer’s guidelines.
ANTIFA MEMBERS TALK EYE GOUGING, ‘DESTROYING YOUR ENEMY,’ UNDERCOVER VIDEO CLAIMSBerenson responded by launching a protest on Twitter, calling the move “outrageous censorship from a company that gained hugely from lockdown” as millions are forced to shop online.“I didn’t think my protest would do any good, but I also thought I didn’t …

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Elon Musk calls for Amazon breakup after Covid-19 skeptic claims it censored his book

elon musk calls for amazon breakup after covid-19 skeptic claims it censored his book

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday tweeted Thursday that he thinks it’s time to break up Amazon.His tweet came after writer Alex Berenson tweeted a screenshot showing that his upcoming book about Covid-19 doesn’t meet Amazon guidelines for sale. Berenson has been a critic of the coronavirus lockdown and has suggested that the risks of serious illness or death are much lower than reported, especially for younger people.”This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk said, tagging the Amazon CEO. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”Amazon was not immediately available for comment.Musk has been a vocal critic of government policy during the coronavirus pandemic. He has also tweeted in favor of reopening the country and during a Tesla earnings call said stay-at-home orders are fascist, among other things.Musk has a record of making strange remarks on Twitter. His latest example was on May 1, when he tweeted that Tesla stock “is too high.” In 2018, he said on Twitter he was going to take Tesla private when its stock price his $420 and that he had already secured funding. The SEC sued over that tweet, and both Musk and Tesla paid separate $20 million fines as part of …

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Social Media Fact-Checking Is Not Censorship

social media fact-checking is not censorship

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Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Saul Martinez/Getty Images and Twitter.

This article is part of the Free Speech Project, a collaboration between Future Tense and the Tech, Law, & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law that examines the ways technology is influencing how we think about speech.

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump went to war with Twitter because the company appended a fact-checking link to two of his tweets. There was no account timeout, no takedown of tweets, no suspensions—only a link to a fact check of Trump’s false claims about California’s mail-in ballots. Nevertheless, the little blue annotation triggered an outcry of anti-conservative bias from the president, his advisers, and prominent supporters, and the outrage machine went into overdrive. The president declared that it was time for him to take on social media in the interest of “FAIRNESS.” On Friday, he signed an executive order declaring that platforms would be required to demonstrate “good faith” in moderation decisions, under some definition of the term to be established by the Federal Communications Commission, if they wanted to keep their legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. (CDA Section 230 states that platforms …

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The Latest: UN warns Asia-Pacific governments of censorship

the latest: un warns asia-pacific governments of censorship

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The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.___GENEVA — The top U.N. human rights official is urging some Asia-Pacific governments to be proportionate in their efforts to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak and warning of a “clampdown” against freedom of expression in the region. The office of Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited a “further tightening of censorship in several countries” and the arbitrary arrest and detention of people who had either criticized their governments or shared information about the pandemic. Her office said arrests for expressing discontent or allegedly spreading false information had been reported in a dozen countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. It cited information from China about more than a dozen cases of medical workers, academics and other citizens who “appear to have been detained, and in some cases charged” for publishing their views on the outbreak or airing criticism of the government’s response.___ADVERTISEMENTHERE’S WHAT YOU NEED …

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Twitter to prioritize posts ‘with highest potential for harm’ for

twitter to prioritize posts ‘with highest potential for harm’ for

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Twitter said Wednesday it will not tackle all the misinformation on its platform but will instead focus on posts with the “highest potential for harm” as it works to curb false or misleading information from spreading.The social media giant said it is responding to a survey from last year in which respondents said that “Twitter shouldn’t determine the truthfulness of Tweets” and “Twitter should provide context to help people make up their own minds in cases where the substance of a Tweet is disputed.” “Hence, our focus is on providing context, not fact-checking,” the company said. “We are NOT attempting to address all misinformation. Instead, we prioritize based on the highest potential for harm, focusing on manipulated media, civic integrity, and COVID-19. Likelihood, severity and type of potential harm — along with reach and scale — factor into this.”ADVERTISEMENTWe are NOT attempting to address all misinformation. Instead, we prioritize based on the highest potential for harm, focusing on manipulated media, civic integrity, and COVID-19. Likelihood, severity and type of potential harm — along with reach and scale — factor into this.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) June 3, 2020Twitter’s practice of flagging false or misleading posts was thrust into the spotlight last week …

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