Censorship

In jurisdictions around the world, there are laws or administrative practices that can be abused to censor critical voices on- and offline.

Criminal defamation laws are easily abused by authorities to limit scrutiny and to stifle public debates, and are often used against journalists reporting on controversial issues, or members of the public expressing themselves online.

Equally, laws that criminalise so-called “false news” provide public authorities with a powerful instrument to control journalistic activities: allowing public officials to decide what counts as truth is tantamount to accepting that the forces in power have a right to silence any opposition.    Like ‘hate speech’ or terrorism, the notion of “fake news” is too vague to prevent subjective and arbitrary interpretation.

Laws that seek to deal with the dissemination of unlawful content on social media also often fail to comply with international standards, by being too broad and therefore encouraging social media platforms to over-censor.

While forms of censorship have evolved with the growth of the internet as a space for expression, efforts by states to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression through vague and broad provisions are still a frequent occurrence.

UN: States must protect media freedom in the digital age
24.06.2022 3 min read

UN: States must protect media freedom in the digital age

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Myanmar: Internet shutdowns shrouding torchings and killings
23.06.2022 10 min read

Myanmar: Internet shutdowns shrouding torchings and killings

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UK: Bill of Rights will seriously undermine freedom of expression
22.06.2022 4 min read

UK: Bill of Rights will seriously undermine freedom of expression

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Tunisia: Activists planning to boycott referendum could face charges
17.06.2022 5 min read

Tunisia: Activists planning to boycott referendum could face charges

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Tunisia: Prosecution of journalists is a serious violation of press freedom
14.06.2022 3 min read

Tunisia: Prosecution of journalists is a serious violation of press freedom

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Jo Glanville: Spyware threatens everyone’s right to free expression 
14.06.2022 13 min read

Jo Glanville: Spyware threatens everyone’s right to free expression 

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UK: Journalist’s victory in libel case endorses media freedom
13.06.2022 5 min read

UK: Journalist’s victory in libel case endorses media freedom

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Iran: Meta must overhaul Persian-language content moderation on Instagram
09.06.2022 14 min read

Iran: Meta must overhaul Persian-language content moderation on Instagram

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Turkey: Scrap the ‘disinformation bill’ and stop digital censorship
08.06.2022 4 min read

Turkey: Scrap the ‘disinformation bill’ and stop digital censorship

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