Weekly News Digest, No. 28

Happy summer and welcome to the twenty-seventh installment of the Project on Civil Discourse’s Weekly News Digest, hosted on our Real Talk blog.

Campus Speech 

Richard Adams, education editor, writes about the UK policy that aims to prevent the recruitment of terrorism. According to Corey Stoughton, director of Liberty, the UK’s Prevent Strategy is the “biggest threat to free speech at universities rather than media caricatures of ‘snowflake’ students.” She argues that the tactics used on campuses have a “chilling effect on black and Muslim students.” 

Civil Discourse and Technology 

Lisa Schlein writes an article for the Voice of America about a recent report by U.N. Investigator David Kaye. The report explains that the private surveillance industry is “undermining freedom of expression and putting the lives of many individuals at risk.” Kaye instead suggests that goverments should use the technology to protect citizens.

A German court fined Facebook €2 million for a lack of transparency about the company’s efforts to reduce online hate speech. Under a new German law that went into effect in 2018, social media platforms have only 24 hours to remove posts that violate law if they are flagged by users. Sites that are unable to adhere to the regulation face up to 50 million in fees. 

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm write about Twitter’s new update that labels tweets from politicians that the company would have otherwise removed for breaking site rules. The new update will also apply to officials with more than 100,000 followers as well as to candidates for office. 

Investigative Journalist A.C. Thompson authors an article about a three-year old Facebook group that is meant for current and former Border Patrol agents. Thompson uncovers that within the group, “agents joked about the deaths of migrants” and also posted “sexist memes” about Latina Congresswomen. The group has about 9,500 members.