Group says 262 journalists imprisoned worldwide, record high

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Updated 14 December 2017

Group says 262 journalists imprisoned worldwide, record high

NEW YORK: An advocacy group for journalists said Wednesday that 262 people are imprisoned around the world for their work gathering and reporting the news, a record high.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of imprisoned journalists is the highest since it began conducting its annual survey of journalists behind bars in the early 1990s. It said the 2017 number topped last year’s total of 259 imprisoned journalists, the highest number until then.
“The pattern reflects a dismal failure by the international community to address a global crisis in freedom of the press,” said the group’s editorial director, Elana Beiser.
The three countries where the most journalists are imprisoned are Turkey, China and Egypt, the organization said. There are 73 journalists behind bars in Turkey, 41 in China and 20 in Egypt, it said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year began a crackdown on journalists he suspected of having links to the organizers of a failed coup.
The crackdown has continued, the advocacy group said, with Turkish authorities accusing some journalists of terrorist activity based solely on their reported use of a messaging app, Bylock, or bank accounts at institutions supposedly linked to the coup plotters.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, which is based in New York, said Erdogan’s government “appeared to pay little price for its repressive tactics,” noting that US President Donald Trump hosted Erdogan at the White House in May and has praised him as a friend.
The organization also noted that Trump, a Republican, visited China in November and made no public reference to human rights despite recent abuses and the arrests of journalists.
The group said its list is a snapshot of those journalists who were incarcerated for doing their jobs on Dec. 1. The list does not include journalists who were imprisoned and released throughout the year.


Instagram begins letting users report misinformation

Updated 15 August 2019

Instagram begins letting users report misinformation

  • Instagram will allow users tap a “report” option on-screen when they see a post they deem dubious

SAN FRANCISCO: Instagram on Thursday added a way for users to easily report deceptive posts at the photo and video-oriented social network owned by Facebook.
A new tool being rolled out out lets Instagram users tap a “report” option on-screen when they see a post they deem dubious, then tap a “false information” tag to prompt review by third-party fact-checkers, according to Facebook spokeswoman Stephanie Otway.
The option was expected to be available to all Instagram users by the end of this month.
Such prompts will be one of several “signals” used to determine whether content should be scrutinized by fact-checkers, who will determine their veracity.
“Starting today, people can let us know if they see posts on Instagram they believe may be false,” Otway said.
“We’re investing heavily in limiting the spread of misinformation across our apps, and we plan to share more updates in the coming months.”
The world’s biggest social network has been cracking down on fraudulent influence campaigns and bogus posts as pressure has mounted for online platforms to defend against efforts to manipulate online conversations.
User-reported Instagram posts found to be bogus but not in violation of the service’s policies will not be deleted, but won’t appear when users use “explore” or hashtag searches to discover content.
“Explore and hashtags allow people on Instagram to find content they haven’t already chosen to follow, and by filtering misinformation from these places, we can significantly limit its reach,” Otway said.
Feedback from the new tool will be used to train artificial intelligence software to scan for, and rate, fake posts without waiting for them to be reported, according to Facebook.