The irony of the Taliban attacking Facebook for banning its content — even as its fighters attacked journalists trying to get flights out of Afghanistan — and then getting a shout-out from Donald Trump Jr. may seem like a minor storyline in the dramatic plot unfolding following the US withdrawal after 20 years of war. And yet, it points to a broader set of issues about the relationship between social media and political power that are worthy of consideration. …


Is it possible to eradicate terrorism and violent extremism from the internet? To prevent videos and livestreams of attacks from going viral and maybe even prevent them from being shared or uploaded in the first place? The governments and tech companies involved in the Christchurch Call are working with other public-private partnerships to develop the technical capacity and coordinated approach required to implement this ambitious agenda.

Heads of state and officials from the tech industry gathered for a virtual summit last weekend to mark the second anniversary of the Christchurch Call. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launched the initiative…


Today the Facebook Oversight Board, an advisory body set up by the world’s largest social media platform to provide guidance on its content moderation decisions, opted to maintain Facebook’s suspension of former President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, but called on Facebook to reassess and clarify its rules regarding the indefinite ban.

The decision to maintain the suspension reflected the Oversight Board’s agreement with Facebook’s assessment of the danger posed by several of Trump’s posts during the Jan 6, 2021 deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and sought to overturn the results of the democratic electoral process. But the Oversight…


Most of the major social media platforms have kicked President Trump off, using the fact that he incited an insurrection that left five people dead, and concern that such incitement could continue, as a justification to close his accounts. Twitter held out longer than Facebook, Google or a host of other services in deplatforming the president, and further amplified Parler and Gab as alternative platforms for Trumpians. Trump has used Twitter as his bully pulpit, enabling him to forgo press conferences that would put him front of pesky journalists who might ask him questions or push back on his exaggerations…


I went down to the White House last night after hours of watching the election results roll in. Flipping between the networks and watching as journalists spent hours dissecting every micro-movement in the projected vote counts with a level of detail that only reinforced the horse-race nature of contemporary elections was not just anxiety producing, but also a failure to provide a public service to their viewers. Few took the opportunity to slip in a bit of civics or discussion of policy platforms. …


The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) logo

GIFCT may be the most important acronym you’ve never heard of, and it is posed to change the way the internet is governed in radical ways.

GIFCT stands for the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and represents a novel approach to governing the internet by centralizing content moderation in a single entity, whose decision-making is based on collaboration between the tech sector and governments. Although this industry-led effort began in response to ISIS’ use of social media and was ostensibly intended to focus only on terrorism, its remit has already expanded. And governments like what they see.

When New…


Being invited to testify to Congress alongside Christiane Amanpour, a journalistic icon, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye, was definitely a career highlight. Sadly, the the hearing was prompted by the worst violence against journalists in a generation (most of it perpetrated by law enforcement) and apparent attempts to dismantle the US Agency for Global Media, whose outlets have spent decades building reputations for reliable, independent news in some of the most challenging environments in the world.

Christiane Amanpour (CNN) and Courtney Radsch (CPJ) testify remotely before congress on July 23, 2020.

As I told the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, better known as the Helsinki commission, the…


Journalists are among the frontline workers who have been out ensuring the public gets its news despite the risks of the novel coronavirus. In most of the world, journalists are considered essential, allowing them the freedom to move around and report on the pandemic. …


The World Health Organization has called the novel coronavirus an “infodemic” and the topic of disinformation and “fake news” has remained at the forefront of this century’s worst pandemic, with social media and tech platforms playing a central role. COVID-19 has forced many companies to move to remote work, and tech platforms and social media companies were not exempt. But in many cases the human moderators who assess whether content violates the platforms’ terms of service are largely unable to do that work from home, so companies like Google’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter announced that they would be moving to…


Solidarity when politics is the most dangerous beat

The number of journalists murdered for their work in 2019 fell dramatically to the lowest number since the Committee to Protect Journalists first started keeping records in 1992. So, too, journalists killed in combat or crossfire declined to their lowest levels since before the U.S. invasion of Iraq as the deadly conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have abated to a large extent. …

Courtney Radsch

Media. Technology. Policy. Author Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change. PhD in International Relations

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