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Attacks on the Press   |   Ecuador, Mexico

Disrupting the Debate

Governments use copyright laws and Twitter bots to curb criticism on social media
By Alexandra Ellerbeck

On July 10, 2016, Ecuadoran journalist Bernardo Abad tweeted that the former vice-president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, had not paid income taxes for the year before. A week later, Abad received a message from Twitter saying his account had been blocked for violating its terms of service. Within 24 hours, at least five others' accounts were temporarily suspended after they tweeted about Moreno's taxes. By the end of the week, nine accounts had been temporarily suspended, according to the freedom of expression advocacy group Fundamedios. Twitter declined to comment on the suspensions.

Blog   |   China, Germany, Internet, Russia, USA

Deciding who decides which news is fake

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia's state of emergency cuts lines of communication and puts bloggers at risk of arrest

Police fire tear gas during a festival in Ethiopia's Oromia region. After months of protests, authorities have imposed a state of emergency that includes blocking access to social media. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his blogging. As Ethiopia responds to months of anti-government protests, the fear of bloggers and social media activists being targeted again seemed real.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 4

Riot police use water cannons on crowds protesting the takeover of the Koza-İpek Media group in October 2015. An arrest warrant was issued this week for Tarık Toros, a former journalist at the group. (AP/Mehmet Ali Poyraz, Cihan News Agency)

Arrest warrant issued for TV journalist

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the Turkish journalist Tarık Toros, according to reports. The pro-government daily, Sabah, reported that Toros was one of more than 30 people against whom arrest warrants were issued as part of a police operation against the alleged terrorist group controlled by Fethullah Gülen. CPJ was unable to determine the charges Toros allegedly faces.

Alerts   |   Uganda

Uganda blocks social media sites for presidential inauguration

Nairobi, May 12, 2016 - Ugandan authorities should immediately restore access to social media websites and refrain from censoring any websites in the future, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Regulators blocked access to Twitter and Facebook, and to the messaging service WhatsApp today, according to press reports.

May 12, 2016 4:12 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Internet, Iraq, Syria

My Islamic State Social Network

My first conversation with Islamic State was about my reporting. I had just shared an article I'd written about the terrorist group recruiting Western fighters on my Twitter when I saw that someone using the Twitter handle Abu Omar had also posted a link to the piece on his own account. His profile photo unabashedly displayed the black and white IS flag. As I clicked around his profile, I received a Twitter message from him:

Blog   |   Internet, Security

Three simple steps to protect shared Twitter accounts from hackers

Artwork at Twitter's Santa Monica office. Teams managing shared Twitter accounts can still make use of the site's two-factor authentication protection. (AFP/Jonathan Alcorn)

In my previous blog post I reviewed the results of a poll asking journalists if they used two-factor authentication to protect Twitter accounts from being hacked. But the importance of robust security isn't limited to personal Twitter accounts.

March 28, 2016 3:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 20

Can Dündar, left, and Erdem Gül speak to reporters before standing trial in Istanbul, March 25, 2016. (AP)

Istanbul court rules trial for journalists facing life sentences to be closed to public
The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned an Istanbul court's decision today to bar the public from the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, journalists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. Representatives from CPJ and other free-speech groups attended the first session of the trial today.

Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, two journalists accused of creating terrorist propaganda with social media posts

Istanbul, November 18, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrests of two reporters from pro-Kurdish news agencies on Friday. Idris Yılmaz, of Dicle News Agency, and Vildan Atmaca, of the women's news agency JİNHA, were detained in the Erciş district of Van, a city in eastern Turkey, according to reports.

Statements   |   Turkey

CPJ calls for charges to be dropped against Turkish editor

New York, October 14, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison of Bülent Keneş, editor-in-chief of the English-language daily Today's Zaman, who was arrested on Friday on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter. The daily reported today that the İstanbul 7th Penal Court of Peace ordered Keneş to be released pending trial, but barred him from traveling abroad. Keneş will have to register every Sunday with the local police station.

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