Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or new to ALA Annual, we encourage you to prioritize the many events focusing on intellectual freedom and library privacy. In an era marked by rising censorship and attempts to limit intellectual freedom, it’s more crucial than ever for library workers to champion these fundamental principles of a healthy democracy.
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.
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.”
A ban seems a bit like using a meat cleaver where a scalpel might be more appropriate. I’m also troubled by the potential message a TikTok ban sends; we want to encourage China to be more protective of and open to free speech, especially in light of the troubling shift toward censorship in Hong Kong. Can we really do that if we are banning their apps? By banning their apps, are we taking steps in that same direction?
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?
By: guest contributor Sarah Hartman-Caverly – The true threats to intellectual freedom on college and university campuses cannot be solved by outside intervention – most especially not by state intervention. In this post, Hartman-Caverly extends criticism of the recent Executive Order on free inquiry by challenging its emphasis on learner data tracking, and questions whether intellectual freedom can meaningfully exist without intellectual privacy.
The internet has fueled our modern Information Age – a time when access to information is automatic and universal. But this touchstone for democratized knowledge has a dark past, and an even scarier present.
Americans can exercise unique freedom of speech rights granted by the first amendment of the US constitution. But can we expect to exercise these freedoms on the websites that have increasingly dominated our channels for communication?
Like a good proportion of the country, I have been doing my best to catch bits and pieces of the Senate hearings regarding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the US Supreme Court. When I sat down to write this blog I wondered, what impact might Kavanaugh’s confirmation have on intellectual freedom issues?
Pro tip #1: Delete your Facebook. No, really. Delete it.