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.

Regulating social media: we need a new model that protects free expression
25.04.2018 12 min read

Regulating social media: we need a new model that protects free expression

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24.04.2018 4 min read

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act

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Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act should be repealed in its entirety
24.04.2018 5 min read

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act should be repealed in its entirety

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23.04.2018 2 min read

Tanzania: Restrictive regulations on online content signed into law

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Annual report 2017: Defending freedom of expression and information around the world
19.04.2018 1 min read

Annual report 2017: Defending freedom of expression and information around the world

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13.04.2018 8 min read

Russia: Blocking Telegram is a serious violation of freedom of expression and privacy

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11.04.2018 5 min read

Russia and Azerbaijan: Serious deterioration in freedom of expression on- and offline ahead of UPR

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09.04.2018 6 min read

Poland: Blasphemy conviction of pop star violates free expression

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05.04.2018 3 min read

Kazakhstan: Ratel.kz journalists detained and website blocked

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