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.

21.04.2020 4 min read

Briefing Paper: The Right to Freedom of Expression in the Context of Myanmar’s 2020 General Election

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20.04.2020 4 min read

Indonesia: Criminal defamation charges against academic must be dropped

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Spain: Concerns as Penal Code used to criminalise jokes and misinformation about coronavirus
17.04.2020 7 min read

Spain: Concerns as Penal Code used to criminalise jokes and misinformation about coronavirus

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07.04.2020 1 min read

Turkey: ARTICLE 19 supports Dr. Bülent Şık imprisoned for publicising public health threats

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Jillian York: The global impact of content moderation
07.04.2020 10 min read

Jillian York: The global impact of content moderation

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06.04.2020 1 min read

Coalition to make whistleblowing safe during the coronavirus pandemic

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Russia: Stop restrictions on media and independent journalists under the cover of coronavirus
06.04.2020 5 min read

Russia: Stop restrictions on media and independent journalists under the cover of coronavirus

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Serbia: Journalist Ana Lalic arrested for reporting on inadequate hospital facilities for coronavirus
02.04.2020 3 min read

Serbia: Journalist Ana Lalic arrested for reporting on inadequate hospital facilities for coronavirus

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01.04.2020 5 min read

Ethiopia: Government should guarantee Internet access and access to information during coronavirus pandemic

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