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Following complaints about an abusive article on Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of antiracism demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, GoDaddy and Google have refused to manage the domain registration for the Daily Stormer, a website “spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism.”
 
Cloudflare, which provides protection to websites against attacks, also removed the Daily Stormer from its service. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince admitted that this ad hoc decision lacked a clear, transparent, consistent, and respectful procedure that could be dangerous to the future of free speech on the Internet. “I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power,” Prince wrote in an internal memo to Cloudflare employees

Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that these kinds of decisions produced immediate and long-term consequences: "Every time a company throws a vile neo-Nazi site off the net, thousands of less-visible decisions are made by companies with little oversight or transparency." Of course, this discussion is not new in freedom of expression and media development circles, but it’s one that requires our renewed attention.

Exploring the Role of Algorithms in Online Hateful Speech

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in collaboration with the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy cohosted a two-day workshop titled “Harmful Speech Online: At the Intersection of Algorithms and Human Behavior.” From harassment and cyberbullying to terrorist recruitment and media manipulation, the event has explored how market dynamics, behavioral drivers, laws, and technology contribute to the spread of harmful speech online.

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How Journalists Should Handle Racist News, Images and Violence

A couple of pointers for journalists covering the stories of the Charlottesville riot: the combination of images, language, soundbites, and political opinions can create more than one story. Context is so important; it can help dictate how to properly approach a subject that can spark much  conversation.

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UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

A multi-stakeholder conference hosted by UNESCO and the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) took place in Geneva on June 29; it addressed the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. One of the main conclusions was that the threats directed at journalist and media workers “remained at an all-time high.” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated, “Murder remains the most tragic form of censorship.”

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In the Service of Power: Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy

A new book published by the Center for International Media Assistance and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, edited by Anya Schiffrin, explores threats to independent journalism that no longer come only from direct forms of state control. Advocates of a vibrant public sphere once mobilized against the suppression and censorship of news must now also contend with the more complex challenge of media capture.

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Investigative Journalism Workshop and Webinar hosted by OCCRP, OSF and GFMD

GFMD is cohosting a safety workshop with GFMD member OCCRP in Brussels September 8–10. The workshop will include a series of roundtable discussions aimed at sharing experiences and best practices and will result in the publication of a safety manual aimed specifically at investigative journalists.

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Open Society Foundation, Omidyar Network and MDIF launch South Africa Media Innovation Program

The South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) is a new $4 million, 3-year media initiative to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets and encourage new entrants. The program will provide funding and capacity building to organisations selected to participate.

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Free Press Live 2017

 
On November 2nd Free Press Unlimited hosts Free Press Live 2017 - stand up for journalists and justice during the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. With acclaimed Dutch journalist and TV-presenter Twan Huys as moderator, international journalists, legislators and policy makers will discuss the escalating violence and its consequences.

 
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MedMedia Meeting Discusses Report on Ways to Counter Hate Speech in the Media

 
Organised by MedMedia, an-EU funded regional programme, the event took place on 24 and 25 August and gathered 20 media participants and experts from the Maghreb region, including representatives from the press, broadcasters, regulators, journalists’ unions and human rights organisations.

 
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