Topic

press freedom

4 petitions

Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to Channing D. Phillips

Drop felony charges against journalists who covered Inauguration Day protests

On January 20th, 2017, at least seven journalists were arrested and charged with felony rioting while covering the Inauguration Day protests in downtown Washington, D.C. These charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines--not to mention the lasting impact of having a felony charge on one's record.  These journalists were arrested simply by virtue of their presence covering the protests. They were not participants in the demonstrations and clearly identified themselves as members of the press to police. You can review the charging documents here--note the boilerplate, verbatim language in each of the complaints, which does not specify individual actions by these journalists. Please sign this petition to tell the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to drop all charges against these journalists. You can also contact the U.S. Attorney for the District of Attorney directly at channing.phillips@usdoj.gov and his spokesperson at William.Miller3@usdoj.gov.  UPDATE: Below is the remaining journalist who faces charges of felony rioting: Aaron Cantú, independent journalist Below are the journalists against whom the charges have been dropped: Alexander Rubinstein, reporter for RT America (https://www.scribd.com/document/337945523/Rubinstein-Alexander-Motion-to-Dismiss-Jan-2017  John Keller, documentary producer for Story of America (https://www.scribd.com/document/337945522/Keller-John-Motion-to-Dismiss-Jan-2017  Evan Engel, reporter for Vocativ  (https://www.scribd.com/document/337723706/Engel-Evan-Notice-of-Dismissal-Jan-2017  Matt Hopard, web-based video journalist (https://www.scribd.com/document/337945521/Hopard-Matthew-Motion-to-Dismiss-Jan-2017 Shay Horse, independent photojournalist Alexander Stokes Contompasis, independent journalist If other journalists are known to have been arrested and charged while covering the Inauguration Day protests in Washington, D.C., notify me via Twitter at @ScottCRodd and I will promptly update the list. 

Scott Rodd
173,211 supporters
Started 9 months ago

Petition to Mark Zuckerberg, Google, Inc

Take Back the 1st Amendment from Facebook and Google

It is time to tell Facebook and Google to give us the First Amendment back and let us think for ourselves -- many of us are grown -- let us decide what is fake and what is not. When the Bill of Rights were written, the First Amendment must have been important, of it wouldn't have been first.  "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES. “If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.". -- John F. Kennedy Please prove that you are a true American by helping to protect the fundamental law of the United States.  We are now about two steps away from a dictatorship. We have already been determined to be a failing democracy by the rest of the world. It's embarrassing. "There are now only 19 full democracies in the world. The U.S. has been downgraded to a 'flawed democracy'. In case you're wondering, the Philippines is ranked number 50 out of 167 countries, and is likewise considered a flawed democracy. Our country actually has average scores, but the one which pulled down our overall ranking is our score on 'political culture'. No surprise there. The scary thing is, more than half of the world's population now live under hybrid and full authoritarian regimes. I guess democracy is a dying system of governance as most people feel it has failed them. Enter the likes of Duterte and Trump who feed on emotions rather than facts. I guess the likes of them are just the beginning of the long, slow death of democracy. Sorry, ancient Greeks. It was a good run, though.". -- Gary Cacanindin "The 'Age of Ignorance' is over, quelled by the Internet. The 'Age of Information' has replaced it, fueled by the Internet. Take the time to read and learn, for those once labeled as 'ignorant' will now be labeled as 'fool'.". -- William Oren Adams Let us not return to the Age of Ignorance despite the efforts of Google and Facebook, as well as those who paid them off.  Please sign and share.  Thank you.

William Adams
45 supporters
Started 11 months ago

Petition to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

Let's Get Facebook to Fact Check Shared News

A recent Pew study determined that 62% of Americans get their news from social media; this makes Facebook one of the most widely used sources of news in the country. The stories you see are curated by your friends, their shares, and a complex algorithm that shows you the kind of news that suits your interests, but makes no promise as to the quality of the news you see. In the media over-saturation we all experienced this last election, Facebook's failure to properly vet and fact check the news it distributes created a vacuum of facts that became filled with exaggerations, falsehoods, and outright lies from both sides of the aisle (for example, Trump never said Republicans are the "dumbest group of voters on the planet", and a Clinton indictment was never "likely"). There is evidence to suggest this had a major impact in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/16/more-facebook-users-engaged-with-top-fake-election-news-than-most-popular-real-reporting-report-says.html). Whatever your preferred source of news, it will always be inherently biased on some level. And that is what it is. But a certain level of factual accuracy transcends bias and political affiliation. When it comes to political issues in the information age, the truth is the most important thing. We have a right to know when we are being told something that simply isn't true. As a national curator of news, Facebook has a responsibility to clearly identify articles by the likes of The New York Times and Chicago Tribune from those of BuzzFeed and The Onion. How many times have you shared an article from The Onion, and had at least one friend comment, "Is this real?" Being able to win an election on a platform of lies and deception is dangerous. Having the right to be informed is as important as your right to vote. If we can't hold all media outlets to their journalistic integrity, we should at least be able to hold the news distributors accountable for how they are presented. Regardless of your political affiliation, we should all want to root our convictions in facts. As of November 14, Facebook has agreed to prevent fake or misleading news stories from running as advertisements, but this isn't far enough. Per a recent Business Insider article (http://www.businessinsider.in/It-only-took-36-hours-for-these-students-to-solve-Facebooks-fake-news-problem/articleshow/55426656.cms) three Princeton University students recently developed a Chrome Extension that does real time fact checking on news content. This technology already exists. We ask that Facebook differentiate posts and articles from factually credible news organizations from those that are not. We ask that they implement real time fact-checking alongside posts from news and media outlets, so that users are always presented with the truth, and citations to support them. There are no politics or bias to consider here. Only the facts. I am not affiliated with any group or political organization. I'm just an American who values the truth. Real time fact checking on this scale is possible. Let's make this happen!

Jay Johnson
16 supporters