Monday, July 31, 2023

X man / All talk / Get closer

X man. Elon Musk explained why he dropped Twitter’s iconic blue bird for the 24th letter of the alphabet, but did it make sense?
■ Twitter has threatened an anti-hate group with legal action over its research and claims against the social media giant.
If passed in the U.S. Senate, the ‘Daniel’s Law’ security and privacy act that allows deletion of personal data online could prove burdensome to newsgatherers.
■ Citing First Amendment concerns, a national reporters’ group filed court documents in support of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in its lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
An attorney for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) has challenged a Pennsylvania law that requires lawyers to abide by specific conduct rules or face the threat of disbarment.
Lie down. A federal judge in Florida dismissed Donald Trump’s $475 million defamation lawsuit over CNN for its use of the phrase “the big lie” and an apparent comparison to Adolf Hitler.
■ Rudy Giuliani acknowledged his lies concerning Georgia election workers but claimed the First Amendment let him make them.
■ While a new survey revealed Americans consider the First Amendment vital, many have misunderstandings about how it works and whom it protects.
■ Self-censorship is eroding free speech, warned Nadine Strossen, a former ACLU president.
All talk. Despite all the chatter about restricting drag performances in front of children, no state has a law on the books to ban such shows.
■ Tennessee teachers caught up in the legalities of bans on lessons of race, gender, and bias concepts have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the restrictions.
■ A conservative parents group’s effort to change an Ohio school district’s policies related to harassment and LGBTQ+ youth was rejected by a U.S. district chief judge.
■ Americans may be divided on core beliefs about faith and justice but can still share the country, thanks to the First Amendment, reasoned author Thomas C. Berg in his book, “Religious Liberty in a Polarized Age.”
■ An incarcerated atheist cannot be forced into a religiously affiliated substance-abuse program, a federal judge in West Virginia has ruled.
Nonbinding. An Arkansas law that would criminally charge librarians and booksellers for providing ‘harmful’ materials to minors was temporarily blocked by a U.S. district judge.

New York City has agreed to pay $13 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit involving more than 1,000 protesters arrested or beaten during the summer of 2020.
The suspension, investigation, and subsequent reinstatement of a university professor over criticism of Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during a lecture has free-speech advocates concerned.
■ A debate has resumed over whether the writings of mass killers should be released to the public.
Get closer. An eight-foot distance restriction for filming police doing their jobs is unconstitutional, ruled a federal judge in Arizona.
Google announced that its rapidly evolving AI technology will help journalists write stories and headlines.
A drone bill in the U.S. Senate that bypasses current FAA regulation could eliminate a unique reporting tool for journalists.
Courthouse News filed a First Amendment complaint against Minnesota legal administrators who have refused or ignored journalists’ requests for access to civil pleadings.
After 150 years, the Santa Barbara, Calif., News-Press has ceased operations after its publisher filed for bankruptcy.