“Would” becomes “wouldn’t” as President Trump tries to walk back on his words. Judge lifts court order requiring Los Angeles Times to remove information from a published article. Media executives at an off-the-record meeting with Facebook take issue with inclusion of platforms such as The Daily Caller in the category of truth-seeking news organizations. Meanwhile GOP lawmakers hold Congressional committee hearing to claim bias against conservative views by social media platforms. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer


The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Trump’s Remarkable Attempt to Walk Back His Russia Comments
Facing one of the biggest controversies of his presidency and contradicting his prior comments, Trump said he “accept[s] our intelligence community’s conclusion that meddling took place” in the 2016 presidential election.

Judge Lifts Controversial Order Requiring the L.A. Times to Alter Article About An Ex-Glendale Cop
A federal judge lifted a controversial order requiring the L.A. Times to remove information in an article detailing crimes committed by a former Glendale police detective accused of working with the Mexican Mafia while serving on the force.

Opinion: It’s a Mistake for Facebook to Woo The Daily Caller in a Quest for ‘Balance’
The Daily Caller certainly doesn’t employ traditional reporters… Facebook obviously shouldn’t align itself with an outlet that has this much baggage. But of course, this isn’t the social network’s only journalistic dispute at the moment.”

Publishing Executives Argue Facebook Is Overly Deferential to Conservatives
At a private meeting late last week, some publishing executives criticized Facebook for being overly accommodating to conservative outlets, days before social-media executives are to discuss how content is displayed on their sites on Capitol Hill.

The Biggest Spender of Political Ads on Facebook? President Trump
Trump and his political action committee spent $274,000 on ads on the social network since early May. The ads were seen the most by Facebook’s users, having been viewed by at least 37 million people.


Jailed Reuters Reporter Testifies in Myanmar *PEN Case List
Reuters reporter Wa Lone, who along with Kyaw Soe Oo is on trial in Myanmar, say the police questioning after they were arrested centered on their reporting of a Rohingya massacre, not on secret state documents they’re accused of obtaining.

Proposed Legislation Stokes New Crackdown as Emergency Rule Ending in Turkey*PEN Case List
A state of emergency imposed in Turkey following a failed coup two years ago this week is set to end in the coming days. But there are concerns that the government will maintain draconian measures under a different guise.

‘This Letter Is Illegal’: Jailed Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Snuck Banksy a Heart-Wrenching Thank You Note From Her Cell*PEN Case List
In her two-page letter to Banksy, which is translated and abridged in the social media post, Doğan writes about the difficult conditions inside the prison and the ongoing conflict that rages on outside the facility.

Egypt Targets Social Media and Free Speech with New Law
Under the law, social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook will be treated as media outlets, which makes them subject to prosecution for publishing false news or incitement to break the law.

Free-Speech Group Files Court Papers Suing Auckland Council, Mayor Goff Over Speakers’ Ban
A pro-free-speech group is suing Mayor Goff over the ban of two “alt media” speakers from using city-owned venues. “The coalition gets the impression the mayor is eager for the police to say they can’t… keep the peace and protect free speech.”

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