A Parler content filter, denying the keywords “climate change,” “Trump” and “election.”

Living in the Filter Bubble

We should consider whether tech companies are taking personalization too far, but we should also resist the urge to embrace that customization to an extent that might inhibit personal growth and evolving perspectives. And we need to continue to make sure the next generation understands the importance of looking at multiple perspectives, especially if it is going to be harder to do so organically as we absorb information.

Banned Books Week 2020: Censorship is a Dead End, Find Your Freedom to Read logo.

#BannedBooksWeek By the Numbers: Making Virtual-First Count

Among the many challenges of 2020, there is another challenge we’ve faced down in the past and will continue to face in the future: book challenges. Censorship doesn’t take a sick day – and book ban and challenge statistics reported by the Office of Intellectual Freedom prove it. But for the first time, our annual commemoration of the fight against book censorship and other content challenges went virtual-first. Inspired by the Harper’s Index, this post measures Banned Books Week 2020 by the numbers – and shows how intellectual freedom advocates made virtual-first count.

4chan logo.

“Defending Scoundrels”: 4 Moral Arguments for 4chan

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.

Covid-19

Intellectual Freedom and Harmful Conspiracy Theories: Where do we draw the line?

The problem is not corporate censorship, it’s the idea that we can find all the reliable information we need on the internet with no guidelines or knowledge how to vet information or discriminate fact from fraud. Censorship becomes an issue when government entities start to take part – and this is why eliminating censorship within the construct of libraries is so important.

Tweets by Robert Barnes @Barnes_Law comparing the Covington John Does and Alex Jones lawsuits.

“The Impact of Covington Will Be the Whole World”: Doxing, Privacy, and Free Speech in the Age of Pervasive Tech

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.

A newspaper silencing their own reporter: what about free speech?

I was fascinated to wake up to the headline “Washington Post reporter who tweeted about Kobe Bryant rape allegations placed on administrative leave” recently. My first thought was “What? I must have read that wrong.” But I didn’t – The Washington Post reported itself that it had suspended political reporter Felicia Sonmez after she “sparked a furious backlash” by posting about the rape allegations from 2003 against Kobe Bryant shortly after his death in a helicopter crash.