And as all of this unfolds, new research indicates that the governments around the world have exploited the pandemic to expand their domestic surveillance capabilities and curtail internet freedom and speech.
Facebook gave me a statement saying, “We believe strongly in press freedom and the rights of journalists to work without fear for their personal safety or other repercussions.Facebook’s explanation is that it doesn’t normally single out free-speech heroes and that it did meet privately with Ressa after her conviction.
She was there to proclaim the power and importance of “internet freedom.” In the previous few years, she said, online tools had enabled people all around the world to organize blood drives, plan demonstrations, and even mobilize in mass demonstrations for democracy.
I created a blocklist in Freedom and named it “THE PHONE IS A TOOL YOU DUMMY.” It prevented me from opening The New York Times app or Twitter or Facebook, virtual spaces all too easy to fall back into when approximately three seconds of boredom enter your frame.
After a series of bombings killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka Easter Sunday, the country’s government blocked access to social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and the chat app Viber, according to state media and independent organizations that monitor internet blocks.
Netflix defended its action, pointing out in a statement that it only took down the episode after the kingdom sent the company “a valid legal request.” Netflix, like most American tech companies, goes to great pains to comply with local laws in order to operate globally.
While Facebook’s head of global policy Monika Bickert spoke, protesters from a group called Freedom From Facebook, seated just behind her, held signs depicting Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg’s heads atop an octopus whose tentacles reached around the planet.Freedom From Facebook has garnered renewed attention this week, after The New York Times revealed that Facebook employed an opposition firm called Definers to fight the group.