Exiled Cambodian opposition leader sues Facebook in California over allegations of collusion with Cambodia's dictator

Cambodian dictator Hun Sen has ruled since 1998, and when an opposition leader used Facebook to challenge his election in 2013, Hun Sen teamed up with a fake news outlet called Fresh News to deploy a Facebook-based strategy to consolidate his control and neutralize democratic opposition. Read the rest

Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner

Science fiction author Hugh Spencer (previously) has published an essay on how Rod Serling's activist views on human rights were embodied in The Twilight Zone, drawing on the practice of using fantastic fiction to evade social constraints, in the tradition of Gulliver's Travels (to say nothing of books like Pinocchio and Inferno). Read the rest

In the USA, Trump supporters are the most prolific users and sharers of "junk news" (a mix of untruth and distastefully presented materials)

Oxford's Computational Propaganda Project surveyed 13,500 "politically active" US Twitter users and 48,000 publicly visible Facebook pages, coding them for political affiliation, then measuring how much "junk news" (a news article that fails to live up to three or more of the following: professionalism, style, credibility, bias, counterfeit) was consumed and share by users based on their political affiliation. Read the rest

Facebook helped consolidate power for Cambodia's dictator and his attack-dog media, then killed the independent press's platform

In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen has held power since 1998, a reign characterized by systematic looting, political patronage and violent suppression of human rights; when opposition parties used Facebook to organize a strong showing in the 2013 elections, Hun Sen turned to the tool to consolidate his slipping hold on power. Read the rest

Peter Thiel, "libertarian," wants to buy Gawker's archive, which would give him the power to censor stories he didn't like

Libertarian wisdom holds that "the answer to bad speech is more speech," but if you're a Peter Thiel libertarian (that is, the kind of "freedom lover" who doesn't think women should vote, wants to spy on everyone in the world, and secretly wields power to censor the free press), then "the answer to bad speech is secretly backing lawsuits by washed-up pro-wrestlers in order to kill a media outlet whose reporting you don't like." Read the rest

Above the Law's template for reporting on Donald Trump's stupid, doomed legal threats, of which there are so, so many

Donald Trump's legal threats against Fire and Fury publishers Macmillan, USA are merely the latest in the series of absurd, unwinnable, doomed legal threats to emanate from Donald Trump, who is an idiot. Read the rest

Rumour mill says that the Mercers are going to axe Bannon from Breitbart over "Fire and Fury" remarks

In his new book Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff says that one-time White House chief strategist Steve Bannon accused the Trump campaign of "treason", a revelation that sparked a hilarious denunciation by Donald Trump, who claimed that his Chief Strategist didn't know anything about his strategies or his chiefs -- which drew more attention to the book (as did the legal threats the Trump administration fired at the book's publisher, Macmillan), widening the rift between Bannon and Trump. Read the rest

Crowdfunding Lupiga, a progressive, independent voice combating rising fascism in Croatia

Lupiga is a longrunning, much-loved independent news source in Croatia that is virtually single-handedly doing battle with the country's surging fascist movement; they're crowdfunding to continue operations. Read the rest

Hedge funds killed the newspaper industry, not the web

The web came of age with no-holds-barred finance capitalism, so it's hard to decide which of the last twenty years' worth of changes are the result of the tech industry, or of financialization, or a toxic mix of both. Read the rest

Millions of poor rural voters now hate Trump and millions of rich voters still support him, but the press only profiles poor people who remain Trumpists

Trump won the election by welding together a coalition of racist rich people who wanted tax breaks and racist poor people who'd been living in Fox-induced terror for decades and believed the world was ending and thought that Trump would at least make brown people and liberals as miserable as they were on the way to total collapse. Read the rest

After Roy Moore threatens to sue AL.com, the publisher puts him on notice to preserve all documents for their countersuit

Threatening to sue journalists who paint you in an unflattering light has been a pretty effective tactic for the Trump crowd -- hell, Trump's special advisor Peter Thiel managed to destroy an entire media company in retaliation for their coverage of him, by secretly fronting legal fees for a clownish wrestler who had sex with his friend's wife -- but multiply accused child molestor and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore isn't very good at it. Read the rest

How to investigate and report on modern slavery

Thalia Holmes summarizes the "Exposing Human Trafficking and Forced Labor" panel at the 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg, where veteran reporters who've broken major modern slavery stories discussed their methods and offered advice for others pursuing similar stories. Read the rest

What it's like to be a reporter under cyberattack

Propublica's Julia Angwin (previoulsy) is one of the most fearless, effective investigative journalists reporting on technology; last August, she was subjected to brutal, crude, devastating cyberattacks after the publication of an article she worked on that outed tech companies, ad brokers and payment processors for helping extremists "monetize hate," acting as paymasters for neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and genocidal racists. Read the rest

After a show of solidarity from America's critics, Disney caves on blacklisting the LA Times from movie screenings

Disney has ended its blacklisting of the LA Times' movie critics from advance screenings -- a move it took in retaliation for a pair of in-depth, investigative articles that cataloged the one-sided deals it has extracted from the city of Anaheim, where it is the largest employer, taxpayer, charitable giver, and political contributor -- after the nation's movie critics announced that they would not review nor consider for awards any Disney movie. Read the rest

LA Times barred from press-screenings of Disney movies after reporting on corporate welfare in Anaheim

After running Daniel Miller's long, excellent features about the many ways in which Disney has manipulated the local politics of Anaheim (home of Disneyland) to extract huge subsidies from the cash-strapped city, the company retaliated by barring its film critic from future press screenings of its films, a move that the company confirmed, calling the coverage "unfair." Read the rest

The New York Times is now a Tor onion service

The New York Times is now available as an "Onion Service" on the Tor network, at the address https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/ -- meaning that anyone with Tor access can securely and privately access the Times without giving away any information about what they're looking at, even to state-level actors who control the ISPs. Read the rest

200 Trump inauguration protesters face 70 years in prison each over 6 broken windows

Donald Trump is the least popular president to serve in US history, so it's no surprise that the call for mass, "J20 demonstrations" at his inauguration would be answered by massive crowds. Read the rest

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