Censorship

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.

Thailand: Repeal repressive lèse-majesté provision
04.03.2021 6 min read

Thailand: Repeal repressive lèse-majesté provision

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Breaking the Silence: Thailand’s renewed use of lèse-majesté charges
04.03.2021 3 min read

Breaking the Silence: Thailand’s renewed use of lèse-majesté charges

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HRC46: Deterioration for free expression worldwide
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HRC46: Deterioration for free expression worldwide

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Iran: Writer Kioomars Marzban released from prison
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Iran: Writer Kioomars Marzban released from prison

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MENA: Release of Khashoggi papers indicate first steps towards ending impunity
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MENA: Release of Khashoggi papers indicate first steps towards ending impunity

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Malaysian Federal Court decision against online news portal Malaysiakini a setback to media freedom and freedom of expression
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Malaysian Federal Court decision against online news portal Malaysiakini a setback to media freedom and freedom of expression

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Free Speech on UK Campuses: Is this the Real Threat?
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Free Speech on UK Campuses: Is this the Real Threat?

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Belarus: Raid on Journalists’ Homes Signals Fresh Crackdown
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Belarus: Raid on Journalists’ Homes Signals Fresh Crackdown

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Russia: Laws enabling massive online censorship must be repealed
15.02.2021 12 min read

Russia: Laws enabling massive online censorship must be repealed

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