Bill Snaddon discusses political reform in Nigeria and the prosecution of the killers of Nigerian writers and journalists.
Sara Khorshid reports from a panel discussion that brought together former hate preachers, feminists and ordinary Arab youth to debate the limits of free speech in the new Middle East.
Kerem Öktem describes the dramatic deterioration of Turkey’s media landscape after the attempted coup of July 2016.
Noam Chomsky talks about Edward Snowden, laws regulating historical memory, no-platforming, internet echo chambers and the lack of diversity in the American media.
Free Speech Debate organised a panel discussion on the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and its future. In this video and its highlights, panelists debate the range of issues surrounding the campaign and its impact on free speech. Panelists include Dr David Johnson, Professor David Priestland, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Monica Richter.
Olga Shvarova explores how the Russian Orthodox Church’s interpretation of traditional moral values and spiritual security affects freedom of expression in Russia.
Yury Sorochkin describes the implications of the Russian government’s decision to ban Rutracker.org, the country’s most popular torrent tracker.
Helen Haft examines the case of a blogger prosecuted after an online argument and its implications for Russian free speech.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces the report of a committee on freedom of expression at the University of Chicago
A transcript of our conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who spoke to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi talks to Free Speech Debate about her book Until We Are Free and the state of free speech and human rights activism in Iran.
Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that can emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Monica Richter argues that no-platforming is more about censoring unpalatable views than protecting marginalised groups.
Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh argues that Oxford has shown itself to have no regard for black life in its decision not to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes.
Monica Richter argues that the inward looking Rhodes Must Fall campaign detracts from greater issues of social justice.
Free Speech Debate tells the story of the advisory council to Google on the right to be forgotten, and talks to council member Luciano Floridi.
Looking at the long sweep of the AKP’s rule, Kerem Öktem shows how the window of free speech in Turkey has closed.
Neil Dullaghan sums up a year of conflict and controversy for free speech, catalogued on our website.
Evelyn Walls explores how Facebook may navigate Chinese free speech restrictions as it seeks to enter the market.
Mujahid Mohammad discusses how India’s government has prioritised economic development over free speech.
Udit Bhatia explores the changing nature of state censorship of film in India and prospects for the future.
Danyal Kazim explores the violent reaction to the YouTube video in Pakistan – starting with trying to access it from there.
Maryhen Jiménez Morales explores how leftist political leaders in Latin America have limited free speech in their countries through populist discourse and political propaganda.
Laura Bernal-Bermudez examines a judgement that actually led to a change in the Chilean constitution
In the shadow of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, Arthur Asseraf examines the history of French colonial double standards in Algeria.
Sebastian Huempfer examines the tortured controversy around republication of a copyright-free Mein Kampf in Germany.
Tore Slaatta investigates Norwegian artists’ views on their freedom of expression in contemporary society.
Vanya Bhargav explains the battle behind the Indian government’s ban on a BBC documentary about a notorious gang rape.
Demotix founder Turi Munthe discusses the role of citizen journalism and Demotix in today’s media environment.
Rebecca Wong describes the combined pressures of Chinese political power and the interests of media proprietors.
Leslie Green argues that Buddhist ideas about avoiding divisive, abusive and false speech can help us live together well in free societies
Jason Q Ng traces the path of a censored Weibo post and tracks keywords that trigger automatic review.
Katie Engelhart attends the public hearing of Google’s Advisory Council, set up in response to a European Court of Justice judgement.
Hartosh Bal explains the role of the new Freedom Trust in the context of India’s media environment, and how they hope to defend freedom of expression.
In 2014, the citizens of Hong Kong staged an unofficial civil referendum in protest against the Beijing authorities’ attempts to undermine its independence. As Rebecca Wong reports, the majority of the votes were cast via a voting app on mobile phones.
A leaked document in June 2014 from Egypt’s ministry of the interior invited tenders for cyber-surveillance technology to combat blasphemy, sarcasm and ‘lack of morality’ – the technology would likely come from the west. Max Gallien reports.
Internet Service Providers do not merely route data packets from end-to-end, but are heavily involved in monitoring their customers’ online activities. Ian Brown discusses the implications of Britain’s suggested “voluntary” opting out of “adult content”, with little parliamentary and court involvement.
Shi Yige examines different approaches to censorship in China, and argues that while internet controls might avail the leadership in the short term, they are unsustainable.
Faisal Devji explores the deeper lessons from the forced withdrawal of an ‘alternative history’ of the Hindus.
For one taxi company in the Russian town of Kostroma, the answer turned out to be yes. Sergey Fadeev explains.
Katherine Bruce-Lockhart looks at the media’s role in two Kenyan elections and argues that peace and critical media coverage should not be mutually exclusive.
Jonathan Heawood on ten reasons why independent self-regulation is good for free speech – and how his new initiative, IMPRESS, proposes to go about it.
How do we strike the right balance between freedom of expression and child protection? Sarah Glatte explores a proposal by the British government.
At the 2013 Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Burmese writers including Pascal Khoo Thwe and blogpoet Pandora talk about George Orwell in the country where he was once an imperial policeman.
Thomas Fingar, 2013 winner of the Sam Adams Awards for Integrity in Intelligence, argues that leaking classified information from within the intelligence services is unnecessary and dangerous.
Political theorist Rob Reich discusses what adaptations we need as freedom of speech and association move increasingly from the offline to the online world. Can the old principles still apply in new circumstances?
Famous Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner says he thinks Russia really has no concept of free speech. Oh, but there’s one place where you do have complete freedom of expression.
Protests held by far right groups in ethnically diverse areas are provocation, but banning them can have undesired effects. Josh Black looks at a ban on the English Defence League in East London.
In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling that, to merit conviction, the violence advocated must be intended, likely and imminent. By Jeff Howard.
Did the European Court of Human Rights wrongly considered the distribution of child pornography to be an exercise of freedom of expression in the case Karttunen v. Finland, asks Rónán Ó Fathaigh.
Kerem Oktem introduces our translation of a column by Hasan Cemal, which his newspaper, Milliyet, refused to print.
Libyan media are crippled by their Gaddafi legacy. Without new regulations and, above all, bravery to stand up to violent intimidation, freedom of speech remains a distant dream, writes Jerry Timmins.
For all its talk of press freedom, the Burmese government has produced a surprise new bill containing oppressive provisions and undermining the press council it created. Ellen Wiles reports.
At the European Court of Human Rights, the case of I.A. against Turkey in 2005 acted as a controversial precedent for limiting Article 10’s definition of freedom of expression in the name of religion, explains Michele Finck.
The Chinese government’s stance towards the question of free speech is guided by a philosophy that is complex but intelligent. Rogier Creemers diagnoses the underlying causes.
2013 began dramatically in China with a standoff between journalists and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten New Year editorial. Timothy Garton Ash introduces English translations of the original and finally published versions.
The Chinese Communist Party aims to control privately owned media without appearing to do so. A strike at a local newspaper imperils that balance, writes Liu Jin.
Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi stresses the importance of free speech but emphasises the Buddhist idea of “right speech”.
A new cybercrime law in the Philippines would give unfettered powers to the state to monitor internet users, take down websites and imprison citizens writes Purple S. Romero
The award-winning Indian novelist and activist speaks to Manav Bhushan about the limits to free speech in India, including government censorship through the media and “goon squads”.
Russian social network VK launched six years ago and has since attracted 122 million users. But as Olga Shvarova explains, political and copyright crackdowns are limiting the free flow of information and ideas its users once enjoyed.
One of the United Arab Emirate’s most prominent human rights activists, Ahmed Mansoor was imprisoned in 2011 for criticising the country’s leadership. Here he discusses the death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks he continues to face for speaking his mind.
Should Yale University refuse to operate in Singapore where human rights and free expression face significant restrictions? Katie Engelhart weighs the arguments for and against.
Judith Bruhn explores the theory and practice of privacy in Europe and whether a court injunction was enough to salvage the Duchess of Cambridge’s privacy.
Historian Khaled Fahmy describes how historic Egyptian books are more easily found in Western than in Egyptian libraries – and how a scholarly history of the Middle East was recently banned from entering Egypt.
Manav Bhushan, an Indian member of the Free Speech Debate team, makes the case for blocking hate-filled websites in his country.
During the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, a Turkish National TV presenter censored John Lennon’s song Imagine. FSD team member Funda Ustek discusses how Turkey is trying to eliminate its citizens’ ability to imagine a world without religion.
Dominic Burbidge explores the corrupt links between political elites and mainstream media that suffocate genuine democratic debate in Africa.
Author Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that sometimes emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Was punk band Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin performance in a Moscow church ‘religious hatred hooliganism’ or an artistic form of political dissent? Olga Shvarova considers the case.
Claus Leggewie and Horst Meier explain why memory laws are the wrong way for Europeans to remember and debate their difficult pasts.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom. Interview by Judith Bruhn.
The online retailer has been criticised for profiting from ebooks featuring terror and violence. No one should tell us what to read, says Jo Glanville.
A South African art gallery removed an explicit painting of President Jacob Zuma after pressure from the African National Congress, write Nimi Hoffmann and Maryam Omidi.
A panel of experts joins FSD Director Timothy Garton Ash at London’s Frontline Club to discuss some of the world’s most pressing free speech issues.
“People in Africa don’t have the freedom to speak freely and hold governments accountable,” says Nqobile Sibisi of Highway Africa’s Future Journalists Programme.
In 2011, three Indian scholars called on OUP India to re-publish an essay which had been denounced by Hindu extremists. Less than two weeks later, the publisher reversed its earlier decision not to re-publish.
Medical science frequently favours commercial interests over free speech, writes Deborah Cohen of the BMJ.
Punishing internet intermediaries for their content will have a chilling effect on free speech, says Kevin Bankston of the Centre for Democracy and Technology.
The former director of BBC Global News explains what Britain’s historic public service broadcaster means by ‘impartiality’ – and why it has not always achieved it.
China may provide censorship tools to autocratic regimes in Africa, but western companies still dominate this market, writes Iginio Gagliardone, a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University.
Historian Halil Berktay discusses the denial by the Turkish state that the mass murders of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 constituted a genocide.
In the first past of this debate, research fellow Kerem Öktem argues that an individual’s understanding of free speech is shaped by their personal history and geography.
Online censorship is futile as it can almost always be circumvented, says Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency.
A Japanese video game that involved raping women was banned three years after its creation following an international outcry by women’s groups.
In 2002, historian Xu Zerong was sentenced to 13 years in jail for leaking state secrets. The classification of the leaked materials as “top secret” came only after he had been sentenced, writes Timothy Garton Ash.
In 2010, the Hungarian prime minister passed a series of laws, giving excessive control over all private media to the government, writes Peter Bajomi-Lazar, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford.
In the second part of this panel discussion just off Tahrir Square in Cairo, a panel of bloggers, journalists and human rights experts ask what are – and what should be – the limits to freedom of expression in Egypt today.
In this panel discussion just off Tahrir Square in Cairo, a panel of bloggers, journalists and human rights experts ask what are – and what should be – the limits to freedom of expression in Egypt today.
The co-founder of Global Voices discusses the nexus between governments, internet companies and citizens.
Belarus and Bahrain are the latest additions to the Reporters Without Borders’ “Enemies of the Internet” 2012 list while France and Australia are “under surveillance”.
Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui was fired for publicly calling on President Felipe Calderón to clarify rumours that he suffered from alcoholism, writes Felipe Correa.
The head of media relations at Nokia Siemens Networks talks to FSD about the misuse of technology by autocratic regimes and its new human rights due diligence process.
The director of the Moral Courage Project says so-called ‘respect’ for Muslims is often lined with fear and “low expectations” of those practising the faith.
State control of media in China has certain benefits, including high quality television programmes, says Orville Schell of the Asia Society.
Beyond Citizen Kane, a documentary on the 1989 Brazilian election, argues that broadcaster Rede Globo manipulated the montage in favour of one of the two remaining candidates, writes Felipe Correa.
The director general of the BBC explains why it aired Jerry Springer: The Opera, and talks about different responses to Christianity and Islam.
On July 23, 2011, two high-speed trains traveling on the Yongtaiwen railway line collided near the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou killing 40 people and injuring 191. A week later, all traces of the train accident had disappeared from newspaper and television programmes, writes Amy Qin.
The Grass Mud Horse Lexicon, a catalogue of subversive online witticisms in China, is an example of the unflagging creativity of the human spirit, writes Amy Qin.
Speaking at the Brandenburg Gate on the 22nd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, discusses the new barriers to information and communication.
Deposed president Mohamed Nasheed will always be remembered as the man who brought free speech to the Maldives, writes Maryam Omidi.
In part one of this interview with Timothy Garton Ash, Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute talks about the internet and freedom of expression, net neutrality, internet service providers and censorship by both democratic and autocratic governments.
For those of you who missed it first time round, here’s Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, speaking to the Wikipedia co-founder, a day after the encyclopedia’s English pages were blacked out in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. They talk about SOPA and PIPA, the controversial Muhammad cartoons and Wikipedia’s decision to go dark.