• Floods: Germany had massive floods causing over 100 deaths, and China's Henan had 8 months worth of rain in a day

    China reported 33 deaths. Roughly $200m in damage, expected that estimate will be increased.

    Media censorship in China again highlighted. Government-controlled media, no critical media to investigate and ask critical questions. Social media accounts that ask about role of authorities get deleted and censored.

    One question is whether local authorities warned citizens soon enough. A counterargument is that they had no reason to expect that much rain (once in a lifetime situation).

    Chinese people's political double-standards in a strictly-controlled information environment also at issue: state media covered German floods, Siberian forest fires, Canada heat wave, and drew climate change conclusions. But when something similar happens in China they focus on it as being just an exceptional event.
    #Censorship
     
  • A school in Scotland stops teaching To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men

    Mockingbird is considered to be 'anti-racist,' but because it 'plays into a white savior narrative' decision-makers at the school currently consider it racist.

    Mice and Men for it's racial stereotypes and use of the 'n-word.'

  • Turkish underworld figure, hiding out in Dubai, is blogging regularly about the dirt on Turkish politicians

    His name is Sedak Peker. Turks tune in every week for his updates, and the majority think there is at least some truth in them. Although many of the things he says are already known, that he is saying them and the evidence (although it seems there's not much in the way of evidence) makes people listen.

    His most recent video said he was now on a 'red list,' meaning there was a high chance he'd be killed, but said he would still do what he had said, which is talk about Erdogan. Erdogan has called it a 'conspiracy.'

    'People listen to him because the media here in Turkey has been silenced. They can't report many facts, so people prefer to believe what a Mafia leader says,' according to a DW Turkish Service worker.

  • US seized and blocked 33 Iranian media websites

    The US justice dept said the publishers, including a channel used by Yemen's Houthi rebels and 3 websites using by a Hezbollah group in Iraq, were using the sites to spread misinformation.The domains for the sites are registered in the US.

    Iran recently elected a new president who reportedly has already ruled out meeting with Biden, while negotiators from Iran, the US, Russia, China and other countries are working on revising the 2015 nuclear deal. Negotiators reportedly are close to a deal that would bring Iran again into compliance.

    Some wonder if the action has the possibility to derail the negotiations.

    Some critics point out that there is a concern in turning the domain name system (DNS) into a tool of geopolitical info warfare because that threatens the integrity of the internet and the global network.

    "What the US did to Iranian websites was a breach of all principles of freedom of speech, which the United States is proud of." - Some guy not identified by RT

    Who gets to decide what is info and what is misinformation? The censor of the internet?

     
  • Nigeria bans Twitter

    After Twitter deleted a tweet from Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists because it violated Twitter's TOS, that government swiftly banned Twitter and within hours the country's internet providers had shut out access.

    The country's TV and radio stations were ordered to delete or deactivate their Twitter accounts by Nigeria's broadcast authority.

    Trump made comments in favor of the move.

    Many Nigerians continue to use Twitter using VPNs to bypass the censorship.

    Nigeria has 201m people, (40m Twitter users) the largest population in Africa, which has 1.2b total.

    Twitter is seen as unique among other social media platforms (which are not currently banned) because by Twitter's nature of being text-focused and short in word limit, it is used more for political speech. It is also quoted more in news articles.

    The issue enrages some Nigerians because they want to be able to freely express themselves (and their discontent with the government). The government there is viewed by many as one of the biggest creators of propaganda or fake news.

    Many Nigerians run businesses at least partially on Twitter, and they are upset because of the loss of investment. Nigerians also believe the government is using the pretext of Twitter's censorship of the president's tweet in order to tighten its control over all internet social media. The government has since announced that all social media platforms have to register within the country.

    I tried to watch a debate by minor authorities in Nigeria but they seem to yell a lot.

     

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