1. To protest censorship of her country’s latest beauty pageant, 23-year-old Indonesian woman Dea Basori posted photographs of topless Indonesian women in traditional dress, only to find herself censored. Basori’s account was suspended, prompting her to ask: “The photos I posted are all over the internet; all I did was compile them. And besides, it’s a part of our history – how can people be offended?” Facebook has stood by their decision.

  2. Jamaican novelist Marlon James found his Facebook account suspended after posting commentary in response to a Salon article about how the media treats white murderers. Specifically, James addressed “white guys,” asking them to reassure him whenever he sees their “kind” that he shouldn’t scream “shooter.” James’ account was reinstated shortly thereafter, and the company apologized for removing the content “in error.”

  3. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has reversed course, announcing that Facebook wants to crack down against anti-refugee hate speech. Back in September, Facebook resisted calls from the German government to actively police their platform for certain content, saying that they shouldn’t be made to decide what constitutes “legitimate debate.” Notably, Germany’s Ministry of Justice has pointed out that the social network acts more quickly to remove sexual imagery than it does racist messages.

  4. The US Justice Department convened a meeting last week with several social media companies to discuss ways to counter the use of their platforms by ISIS and other extremist organizations. Twitter, Facebook, and Google, among others, participated.

  5. Fortune’s Mathew Ingram argues that using Google and Twitter in the fight against extremism is “dangerous” for governments. Providing arguments against the Justice Department’s latest demands that favor both free expression and open source intelligence, Ingram writes: “The gray area between what the U.S. government defines as terrorist behavior and the normal flow of political speech on Twitter or Facebook might become a little grayer.”

  6. Twitter banned right-wing commentator Robert Stacy McCain from its platform without notification, reports Breitbart. The hashtag #FreeStacy, set up to help McCain regain his account, was also scrubbed from Twitter search.

  7. The Week has dubbed Twitter’s new Trust & Safety Council an “Orwellian nightmare,” arguing that “there's reason to suspect that Twitter's policies about tamping down "abuse" won't tamp down actual "abuse," but just censor political speech.”

  8. YouTube has taken steps to prevent mistaken automatic takedowns of content reported for copyright violation by launching a team dedicated to preventing these kinds of takedowns and increasing transparency when it strips videos of revenue, reports Engadget.


The United States Department of Justice