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.

17.09.2018 2 min read

Lebanon: Stop judicial harassment of human rights defenders

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13.09.2018 4 min read

Malaysia: Senate’s rejection of bill abolishing Anti-Fake News Law a backwards step

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New hearing into EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling could restrict access to information online
10.09.2018 5 min read

New hearing into EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling could restrict access to information online

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28.08.2018 11 min read

Open letter to Google on reported plans to launch a censored search engine in China

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16.08.2018 4 min read

Malaysia: Repeal of Anti-Fake News Act must be followed by broader legislative reform efforts

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16.08.2018 10 min read

Malaysia: Lack of progress on human rights commitments during government’s first 100 days

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08.08.2018 7 min read

Russia: Forbes magazine repeatedly censored by publisher

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19.07.2018 4 min read

ARTICLE 19 honoured by human rights award

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Malaysia: A new era for free speech?
22.06.2018 2 min read

Malaysia: A new era for free speech?

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