Media Law Roundup 08.03

Twitter Olympics

07.30 – Readers discuss Clayton Hardiman’s point: Free speech isn’t free of consequences – Maybe triple-jumper Voula Papachristou was poised to make history at the London Olympic Games. Maybe genuine greatness had taken root inside her. She might have proved herself to be the Bob Beamon, the Rafer Johnson or the Bonnie Blair of her time. Who knows if there was a jaw-dropping performance hiding inside her, just waiting for the christening light from the Olympic flame?

07.30 – London Can’t Endorse Olympic Athletes’ Protests on Twitter for ‘Freedom of Speech’ – We’ve probably seen more Olympic coverage this past weekend than the accumulated television viewing from the 1960 games in Rometo the 1984 Olympics.  Yet for the London Organizing Committee (LOCOG) the dollar count may be at least as important as the medal count. The LOCOG stands to make hundreds of millions off of the licensing of the London Olympics brand. There are 280 government-appointed enforcers who will ensure that “compliance” is maintained.

07.31 – London 2012 Olympics: the first Twitter Games opens debate of athletes using social media– Straight after winning the final of last year’s Rugby World Cup, All Blacks winger Cory Jane might have been expected to celebrate with his team or perhaps call his family. Instead, before he had even taken a shower, he sent out a simple message to his thousands of Twitter followers: “I’m back.”

08.01 – Welcome to the Twitter Olympics – It all started out quite innocently, with jokes about theQueen’s perma-frown and GIF collections of weird, what-the-Dickens moments from the opening ceremony. From there, however, the Twitter conversation about the London Olympics has taken a rapid turn toward the troll-ish. Athletes have been flaming sports announcers and lobbing racist comments at people from other countries. Pretty much everyone on the Internet has contributed to the #NBCFail hashtag.

08.01 – Social media brings elements of chaos to Olympics– It’s amazing how much trouble can be stirred up in 140 characters. But also how much intimacy, excitement, global scope and, yes, general zaniness. For better and for worse, the 2012 Olympics are being shaped, shaken and indisputably changed by a social media revolution that four years ago in Beijing was in its toddlerhood.

08.02 – Guy Adams on Being Suspended From Twitter and #NBCFail – On Tuesday, we hosted a special What’s Trending live Google+ Hangout with Guy Adams, a reporter for the UK’s Independent, whose Twitter account was suspended without warning after he bashed NBC’s Olympics coverage and distributed the corporate email of an NBC executive. After a frenzy of buzz erupted around Adams’ story, the LA-based journalist’s Twitter account was resurrected Tuesday morning.

08.02 – Twitter’s impact on the Olympics – Remember  in the ’90s, when you could head out to Sunday brunch, comfortable knowing you could watch your favorite NFL team play an hour or so later on tape, spoiler free? And it was just a few years ago, when you could settle in and watch the Beijing Olympics — in prime time or on your DVR — still on the edge of your seat as the action played out before you (that is, provided you had stayed off of ESPN.com during the day). It wasn’t live, but it didn’t matter — it was as good as ‘live’ to you. Well, today, the Internet — specifically Twitter — has changed all that.

Twitter and Free Speech 

07.30 – Freedom of speech: Tweets, twits and liberty – It is a truth fast learned – a tweet can make a twit. On Friday night,Aidan Burley was tweeting about “multicultural crap”; on Saturday morning, the Tory MP belatedly grasped the popularity of Danny Boyle‘s Olympic opening ceremony and fired out another missive, protesting that he had been misunderstood.

07.31 – Twitter and Tom Daley: freedom of speech does not extend to the freedom to make death threats – Social media is a genuinely revolutionary form of communication that allows people to get close to public figures in a way that was previously unimaginable. When I was a teenager, if I wanted to contact a celebrity I’d have to write to their agent, or find out where they lived; today, as long as you’re a public figure on Twitter it’s impossible to avoid the public’s @ messages (until you block them) and this means receiving heat-of-the-moment thoughts that in previous times would have been quickly forgotten.

07.31 – By tweeting about a developing story, could you be inciting a riot? – You’re probably not going to like this, but we’re facing bigger Twitter problems than @GuyAdams having his account suspended. For those who haven’t been among the outraged on Twitter: Guy Adams, a Los Angeles-based reporter for The Independent, tweeted up a storm of criticisms about NBC’s handling of the Olympics. One of those tweets included NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel’s work email address. Twitter suspended his account for allegedly violating its user policy. The Internet went bananas.

Chick-fil-A 

07.30 – Alderman: Blocking Chick-Fil-A ‘not a free speech issue.’ – Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno joins guest host Jonathan Capehart to discuss why he says it’s okay to block a new Chick-Fil-A franchise in his ward if the company CEO’s antipathy toward homosexuals turns into policy.

08.03- Kiss Mor Chiks: Gay rights activists protest Chick-fil-A with ‘kiss in’ – Chick-fil-A remains in center of a culture war with marriage equality supporters planning to converge onto the fast-food restaurants Friday and kiss fellow demonstrators.

Leveson Inquiry

07.31 – Leveson, interpreted: The significance of the press’ reaction when the UK’s media inquiry reports – After 26 weeks of hearings, the UK’s Leveson Inquiry, held under the Inquiries Act 2005, has stopped to consider its mass of oral and written evidence gathered during Part 1 (474 people, 135 organisations and 3.2 million words, according to the BBC). “Save for a number of what might be described as ‘loose ends’ or ‘updates’ the gathering of formal evidence by the examination of witnesses is now at an end,” Lord Justice Leveson concluded. He now has to write the report for this first part, examining “the culture, practices, and ethics of the press” over four modules of evidence, which included 29 submissions on the future regime of the press.

Heavyweight Internet Companies Get Together to Form Internet Advocacy Group 

07.30 – Amazon and eBay Join Forces in New Internet Advocacy Group – Ecommerce heavyweights Amazon and eBay have joined with other prominent tech firms to form a new advocacy group to press their policy agenda before policymakers and members of Congress. Named simply the Internet Association, the group bills itself as “the nation’s first trade association representing the interests of the Internet economy and America’s leading Internet companies.”

ICT4D

07.30– Developing countries lead the way in deploying mobile technology – From remote farms to rural health centers, one thing is transforming how even the world’s poorest people live: the mobile phone. Cell phone use in the developing world has climbed to nearly 5 billion mobile subscriptions, and three-quarters of the world now has access to mobile networks. This technology is reshaping the way individuals and communities manage their finances, monitor weather, engage with government, and earn a living, according to the recent World Bank Maximizing Mobile report.

Censorship Around the World

07.31 – Myanmar censors suspend publication of 2 magazines – Myanmar’s censors have suspended two weekly magazines indefinitely in the latest confrontation between the government and the newly aggressive press. The Press Scrutiny Board informed Voice Weekly and Envoy editors Tuesday that their publications have been suspended for violating regulations. The authorities did not explain the reasons for the bans.

07.30 – Tanzanian authorities ban weekly indefinitely – The Tanzanian government today banned indefinitely the critical Swahili-language weekly MwanaHalisi, accusing the paper of publishing seditious articles, according to local journalists and a statement by the information ministry.

08.01 – Freedom Of Speech? Nyet – A political trial opened in Moscow on Monday where three young women – Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – members of the provocatively named punk rock group Pussy Riot, were charged with “hooliganism under religious motives.” Last February, the group performed a crude anti-Putin song on the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, an act that led to their immediate arrest and the charges. If convicted, they could face up to seven years in jail.

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