Choking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty

When suicide bombers attacked several Christian churches and some of the country’s best hotels on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government swiftly reacted by shutting down social media. The Sri Lankan regime was concerned about video propaganda from the attacks. It also wanted to close off the messaging functions of Facebook and Twitter, and it pulled the plug on WhatsApp.

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Nick Cohen and James Goodale on Julian Assange

Cohen was in the middle of the original Wikileaks storm, so his piece is definitely worth a read. I’ll be writing more on the Assange case this week. A different take, from James Goodale a lawyer who worked on the New York Times’ fight to print the Pentagon Papers. Cohen believes Assange is reckless. Goodale argues Assange played the role

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Has Facebook ruined the world? (book review)

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Penguin, $37 hard cover) is an intriguing book about a good idea that turned out to be bad, something that was useful when it was small but is now a menace because of its size and power. Facebook started as a way for people to meet and keep in touch with their friends.

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Who Gets to Cover Parliament and the Legislatures? A Legal Analysis

The press gallery function is more than a commercial news reporting service. It is an integral part of our work; a service which Parliament must safeguard for the Canadian public who are entitled as of right to the fullest information of activities here. –House of Commons Speaker James Jerome, 1976 [1]   Introduction The Parliamentary Press Gallery plays an integral

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Dissecting the Shame Wizard Part II: I will give $10,000 to anyone who can prove that Canadaland isn’t simply false news

Yes, it’s a very snappy headline. Lawyers should have flashbacks to law school and the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. Journalists and other people who read this might wonder why I would risk my money. Because there is no risk. I’ve been following the back and forth between Canadaland and the WE organization since last fall when Canadaland started to put

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Jesse Brown and Canadaland should be removed from the NewsMedia Council

This is the first of a three-part assessment of Canadaland Jesse Brown, in his March 17, 2019, podcast of Canadaland spent much of the hour pressing the NewsMedia Council to remove a member paper for irresponsible reporting. Brown was right: the Toronto Sun’s reporting on migrants living in a Toronto hotel was biased and full of errors. But, in much

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You can’t always say that on TV… Updated, with analysis of Ontario anti-SLAPP law

For decades, rich and famous people who felt they’d been wronged by the media tried to have their libel cases heard in Canada because our courts were so plaintiff-friendly. Journalists, whether they wrote about rock stars or their local town council, lived with libel chill: being hit with long, expensive lawsuits that were usually dropped just before trial. That’s changed

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Journalism is a noble craft. But most journalists can do better.

“Journalists are just a bunch of pimps,” a stranger in an Ottawa coffee shop told me this week. He then launched into lecture on the worthlessness of media. He didn’t read their work or listen to them. But Jody Wilson Raybould is a martyr, he said, and Jane Philpott was brave to quit the federal cabinet to support her. He

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