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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Monday, June 01, 2020

#FREESPEECH in the News June 1, 2020

Bliss Davis, Content and Programming Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland

#FREESPEECH in the News June 1, 2020

As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news – and what you should know about – in the past week.

1.) Zuckerberg says Facebook stronger than other tech companies on free speech

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday his company was more committed to free speech than other tech firms, as Twitter faced blowback from the White House for fact-checking tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We think that it wouldn’t be right for us to do fact checks for politicians,” said Zuckerberg, speaking in a Fox New interview. “I certainly think our policies have distinguished us from some of the other tech companies in terms of being stronger on free expression and giving people a voice.”

2.) Legal expert weighs in on whether effigy of Kentucky governor freedom of speech or crime

Multiple groups of protesters participated in rallies in Frankfort during the Memorial Day weekend.

Protesters claimed Governor Andy Beshear denied them their constitutional rights, some called on the governor to reopen the state and others said they want better conditions for those incarcerated in the state.

A moment captured during Sunday's Patriot Day and 2nd Amendment rally has garnered national attention.

An effigy of the governor was hanged from a tree on Capitol grounds and quickly went viral on social media. Professor Sam Marcosson says it would have to be either a threat situation or incitement situation to be considered a crime.

3.) Documentary film groups sue to stop US from collecting social media info from visa applicants

Two documentary film groups sued the Trump administration Thursday over its collection of social media information on visa applications. The lawsuit, filed against the departments of State and Homeland Security, alleges that the social media registration requirement chills protected speech and deters people from applying for visas to travel to the United States.

Over the summer, the State Department began requesting “most” US visa applicants provide information on their social media accounts, according to department officials at the time. Since the requirements took effect, nearly everyone applying for US visas from abroad has been compelled to disclose social media identifiers for the preceding five years, according to the lawsuit. Social media platforms include: Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, and YouTube.

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union brought a lawsuit in federal court seeking records related to social media surveillance by the government — the policies that govern the process and the tools used to do it.

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