Bread&Net 2022: Call for Illustrators

Over the past decade, civil society has depended on digital networks and tools for advocacy efforts and mobilization. In our region, however, the advantages these networks and tools afford have been mitigated by increasingly restrictive laws, scaled-up mass surveillance, disinformation campaigns, and crackdowns on online freedom of expression.  The four previous editions of Bread&Net successfully …

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How The Supreme Council For Media Will Subject Netflix And Disney To Egyptian Laws

This article was prepared and published by Masaar. In a brief statement posted on its official website, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) announced that streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney have to be obligated to “the customs and values of the Egyptian state.” The statement raised a number of questions about the possibility and mechanism …

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Statement Regarding BSR’s HRA for Meta on Palestine & Israel

SMEX, along with 71 of local, regional and international partners has issued a joint statement regarding BSR’s Human Rights Due Diligence report on Arabic and Hebrew content on Meta’s platform. Human rights organizations and civil society have been calling for an independent review of Meta’s content moderation policies as they pertain to Palestine for years, …

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Libya: Online Voices Silenced with Violence

Earlier this month, the Libyan Armed Forces under Commander-in-Chief Khalifa Haftar not only besieged the Abu Hadi region south of Sirte, but “they also shut down internet and telecom services.” According to Libyan Crimes Watch, Haftar’s forces claimed they were waging a security offensive to capture fugitives in the area. Internet shutdowns have been frequently …

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Meta censored Palestinians last May – independent audit report confirms

A newly released report on Meta’s content moderation practices confirmed the company’s documented over-enforcement of Arabic content (i.e. erroneously taking down posts, restricting reach, falsely flagging content as inappropriate, etc.) during May last year. Commissioned by Meta and conducted by BSR, the long-awaited report  provides evidence of disparate treatment of Arabic content compared to Hebrew …

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How to safely record a witness video?

Phones have become a viable tool for recording violence and injustice around the world. In many cases, posting online helps bring more attention to a situation, which could pressure the responsible parties to take action, step in, and apply the right measures. Although filming human rights violations might save someone’s life, it can also threaten …

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Internet Shutdowns to Prevent Cheating During Exams: The Impact on Society and Economy in the MENA Region

This SMEX research report was written by Sarah Cupler, an independent research consultant. It was funded by the Internet Society. The report, Internet Shutdowns to Prevent Cheating During Exams: The Impact on Society and Economy in the MENA Region, analyzes the use of internet shutdowns to combat cheating and to control information leaks during school …

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Netflix content censored for violating “social and religious values”

Netflix, the world’s leading streaming platform, is receiving pressure from some Arabic-speaking countries to limit its content on the grounds that it “violates Islamic principles” and community values. This form of censorship, camouflaged as restricting “sensitive content,” is not an isolated case, but has become a trend in the region, especially when it comes to …

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