Surveillance. Censorship. Disinformation. Distrust. The information war marches on. This post offers specific suggestions for safeguarding one’s own mind in the “fog and friction” of information warfare, including privacy, “ladder reading,” open-mindedness, asking critical questions, and taking a “trust pause.”
4chan, the image board the Internet loves to hate, is an undeniable cultural force. From Anonymous to doxxing, memespeak to hate speech, lolcats to troll brigades, could 4chan be so bad it’s good? This essay makes four moral arguments in favor of 4chan and its role in the social web: moral outsourcing, anonymity, freedom of expression, and epistemic agency.
Someone is trying to save the world from dangerous ideas by censoring popular comics – but who will save our freedom to read from the censors? The ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table and Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table are teaming up to bring you a very ‘graphic’ Banned Books Week! Use your intellectual freedom knowledge to join a team of heroes in Escape The Dead End Of Censorship!, a virtual escape room adventure (available in image-enhanced and text-only versions). Also, learn more about our Banned Books Week 2020 programming, including daily webinars hosted by GNCRT and the #BannedBooksWeek in Action social media campaign.
The first task of information warfare is to recognize when you’re in one, because you might not be fighting the information war, but the information war is fighting you. This essay revisits the wartime writing of Archibald MacLeish, poet-warrior, playwright-propagandist, and Librarian of Congress from 1939 through 1944. It explores whether we’re experiencing an information war now, and how the library community can respond.
We often think of open-mindedness as a personality trait, but Mark Lenker’s research reveals that open-mindedness is more an activity of mind than a state of mind. In a conversation following his LOEX 2020 presentation, “Open-mindedness is an achievement: Prototyping a new threshold concert for information literacy,” Lenker describes the habits – and limits – of open-mindedness, the relationship between open-mindedness and intellectual freedom, and how open-mindedness can be integrated into information literacy instruction and other areas of librarianship.
Lawyer Robert Barnes seeks to prevent the next social media lynch mob by setting legal and cultural precedents for doxing, recording in public, implicit defamation and the ‘of and concerning’ standard, congressional speech immunity under statute, legal jurisdiction in online crimes, and the contours of speech and press freedoms. Barnes represents anonymous clients connected to Covington Catholic High School on matters regarding the 2019 Lincoln Memorial incident, as well as independent media figure Alex Jones of InfoWars.
“The right to make my own choice is fundamental to life, and intellectual freedom with the right to choose what to read is necessary to maintain what I believe is inherent to all of us,” says Salt Lake County librarian Wanda Mae Huffaker. In anticipation of National Library Week 2020 and the State of America’s Libraries report announcing the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, we share book challenge experiences, 2019 top challenged title predictions, and our passion for the freedom to read.
In recognition of Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week, professors of hip hop A. D. Carson and Justin De Senso share insights on the place of fair use in teaching and learning, what happens when you invite lawyers to class, creating historiography-by-discography, what it’s like to send a scholarly album out for peer review, and rap ensemble 2 Live Crew’s contributions to fair use, free expression, and hip hop history.
Untold numbers of Americans likely had their personal communications snagged in yet another FISA surveillance dragnet. So, where is the media coverage to inform corrective action and public oversight?