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Media Bits and Bytes - December 1, 2020

How France responded when a right to post was taken away. Holiday gift scams, Substack, the Huawei war, and more.

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Keir Starmer comes down on Jeremy Corbyn. Steve Bell's satiric strip "If..." stepping over the line. Credit, Steve Bell, republished by Electronic Intifada with permission

The French Protests Demand the Right to Post Police Outrages

By Romain Brunet
France 24

France’s parliament voted to approve a controversial law Friday that will ban the publication of images of on-duty police officers. Journalists’ groups, human rights activists and unions organised protests in Paris and other French cities on Saturday.

[Update: Protests pushed President Macron to promise modification of the law; details here.]

The Marketization of Truth

By Marcus Gilroy-Ware
Red Pepper

We have become accustomed to the idea that even the most innocuous mass communication could potentially be politically skewed. In the last few decades especially, this suspicion and incredulity has been quietly fed by the very deliberate workings of neoliberalism and its architects.

The Substackerati

By Clio Chang
Columbia Journalism Review

Substack, a newsletter platform, sought to create a more equitable media system—but replicated the flaws of the old one.

The Huawei War

By Evgeny Morozov
Le Monde diplomatique

Huawei, backed by the Chinese state, developed and helped shape 5G, the next generation of mobile connectivity. Europe has its own potential suppliers but the US fears this and is restricting the use of Chinese technology in America. This has made Chinese tech firms ever more resilient.

Brazil Elections: Digital Misinfo

By Robert Muggah, Pedro Augusto P. Francisco and Louise Marie Hurel
openDemocracy

Just like Americans did, Brazilians are voting in the midst of a devastating pandemic, ruinous economic crisis, and a tsunami of digital propaganda.

Scam Alert: Online Gift Ads

By Susan Tompor
Detroit Free Press

Stop, step back and think three times before rushing to buy the next cute thing you spot on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.

Forbes Fears the Socialist Online Agenda

By Peter Suciu
Forbes

In recent years many groups utilize social media to help spread the anti-consumer/anti-capitalist message. Social media also saw a lot of anger directed towards Amazon.com and its founder billionaire Jeff Bezos. 

The Tech Kids

By Juliana Piskorz
The Guardian

Meet the children writing computer programs to track our health and wellbeing, choose a new school… and even how to cheat at online games.

Cartoonist Hits Nerve, and Presto

By Asa Winstanley
Electronic Intifada

The Guardian has censored Steve Bell, one of the UK’s leading political cartoonists. In a strip he has Jeremy Corbyn coerced into apologizing “for not being a right wing Zionist.” Bell confirmed that the paper refused to publish: “The only reason I was given was that they felt ‘uncomfortable’ with running it.” [More on “withholding the whip” here.]