Russia threatens to fine Wikipedia if it doesn't delete 'false information' – Arab News
Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor said on Tuesday it wanted Wikipedia to remove “material with inaccurate information of public interest” about the situation in Ukraine.
The regulator accused Wikipedia of hosting false information on what Russia calls its “special operation” in Ukraine and on the actions of Russia’s military too.
According to Russian law, the owner of an Internet resource that does not delete illegal information when asked to do so by Roskomnadzor can be fined up to 4 million roubles ($48,120.30), the regulator said.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, a move that has been met with fierce Ukrainian resistance and Western sanctions.
RAMALLAH: Palestinian journalists have told Arab News how they regularly come under attack from the Israeli army, police and Israeli settlers.
Under pressure, well-known international media organizations remove content from their sites, making it very difficult for them to objectively cover violence from the Israeli authorities in the region.
Journalists told Arab News Israel had effectively declared war against them with the death of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in May.
Members of the press are regularly injured, arrested and harassed by Israeli forces who prevent them from traveling outside the West Bank to Jordan, Israel or even the Gaza Strip, they claimed, adding that foreign media outlets for whom they work are forced to expel them.
Around 1,200 Palestinian journalists in the West Bank believe that regular atrocities against them — offline and online — are part of an Israeli campaign to keep them from exposing the crimes of the Israeli army and police.
Although international media outlets conducted extensive investigations into the killing of Abu Akleh, the Israeli media did not conduct any investigation. The Palestinians accused it of siding with the IDF narrative over who was responsible.
On May 11, Israeli soldiers killed Abu Akleh on the outskirts of Jenin while she was covering a raid. Despite wearing a “press” jacket, she was shot dead while her producer, Ali Samoudi, was wounded. The Israel Defense Force initially blamed Palestinian gunmen for the incident, but under international pressure, admitted its troops may have fired the bullets that hit her.
Ghaida Abu Farha, responsible for documenting Israeli violations against journalists at the Palestinian Ministry of Information, told Arab News these included detaining journalists at event venues until the events ended, confiscating or destroying Palestinian press equipment and preventing Jerusalem-based journalists from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque.
She said security forces did not recognize the IDs of local and international Palestinian journalists. In May, 44 incidents were recorded in which Palestinian journalists were beaten. In June, 17 incidents of blocking Palestinian journalists from social media under Israeli pressure were recorded. In October, 12 incidents were recorded in which they were prevented from covering events. In November, two incidents of racist insults from settlers against journalists were recorded.
In the same month, the IDF seized the car key and press card of journalist Saif Al-Qawasmi near the Qalandia military checkpoint, north of Jerusalem.
On Nov. 23, Israeli settlers attacked a France 24 TV news crew in West Jerusalem during coverage of a bomb explosion. The Israeli youths disrupted a live broadcast by the channel’s correspondent, Laila Odeh, and the channel’s cameraman, Nader Baybars, using racist slurs and chanting “death to the Arabs” and “go to Gaza.”
Following that, the channel’s camera was destroyed. The Israeli police did not intervene, despite Odeh’s appeals for help.
On Sept. 3, the Israeli police arrested journalist Lama Ghosheh from East Jerusalem for writing a post on her Facebook page, praising a Palestinian killed by the Israeli police. She was released after a week and subjected to house arrest.
Mamoun Wazwaz, a photographer for the Chinese Xinhua news agency and the Turkish Anadolu agency in Hebron, told Arab News that an Israeli soldier deliberately shot him with two metal bullets on March 11 while he was filming clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers in the Bab Al-Zawiya area and Al-Shuhada Street in Hebron, even though he was standing far from the youths and wearing a “press” jacket.
Wazwaz filed a complaint with the Israeli military police against the soldier but no action was taken. This has left Wazwaz hesitant to go near clashes for fear of being targeted again.
“In many cases, the spot for taking a good picture is close to the firing range, so I prefer not to get close and settle for a less comprehensive and quality image,” Wazwaz said.
His Facebook page has also been banned.
Wazwaz said such incidents have forced news agencies to prevent them from covering important events and to limit their coverage to photographing activists and representatives of human rights institutions.
“When violent events occur, I enter into a state of self-conflict: Do I take a risk and go for photography or not? I have a family that needs me, so maybe I shouldn’t risk my life,” Wazwaz said.
“They target the Palestinian journalist, because he is the only party that documents their violations against the Palestinians.”
Veteran Palestinian journalist Mohammaed Daraghmeh told Arab News that targeting journalists with death and injury affected him as the office manager of a well-known Arab satellite channel, so he stopped sending his crew to cover important events.
“I am 100 times more careful than before regarding field coverage, for fear that one of my staff members might be killed or injured,” Daraghmeh said.
Ali Samoudi, a reporter for the local Al-Quds newspaper, and a producer for Al Jazeera in Jenin, West Bank, told Arab News that the killing of his colleague Abu Akleh, plus a bullet wound of his own in his back, was a message that Israeli forces would kill every Palestinian journalist who documents events in the Palestinian Territories.
“The presence of journalists disturbs the occupation and may limit its freedom to commit crimes, so it seeks to keep journalists away from its areas of operations,” Samoudi said.
The current year was the worst for the Palestinian media since he began his work as a journalist 32 years ago, Samoudi said. The IDF’s violence against Palestinian journalists increased to the point that many Arab and international media outlets became afraid to send crews to Jenin, he added.
Although international media outlets conducted extensive investigations into the killing of Abu Akleh, the Israeli media did not conduct any investigation. The Palestinians accused it of siding with the IDF narrative over who was responsible.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate denounced the systematic Israeli targeting of Palestinian journalists and said it stemmed from an official Israeli decision not to allow any reporting of the occupation’s crimes against the Palestinians.
However, the Israeli authorities have denied targeting journalists.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IDF spokesperson for international media, told Arab News: “There is no way the IDF intentionally fire at uninvolved civilians and journalists. If a mistake happens, it’s a tragic mistake; there is no way that these things could happen intentionally.”
The UK leveling up secretary has described journalists at The New York Times as “useful idiots” over a podcast by the outlet accusing him of prejudice against Muslims.
Michael Gove accused “The Trojan Horse Affair” podcast of portraying the UK “as an insular backwater whose inhabitants are drowning in a tide of nostalgia, racism and bad food,” according to The Guardian.
Gove’s statement was part of the foreword of a new “documentary record” about the Trojan horse scandal published by the Policy Exchange think tank.
The NYT-sponsored podcast series, released in February, was critical of Gove’s involvement in the 2013-14 Trojan horse scandal in Birmingham, when the city’s council received documents alleging a conspiracy to Islamize schools.
Gove and his co-author, former Home Office special adviser Nick Timothy, slammed the NYT for taking “a peculiar stance towards Britain in recent years.”
The NYT podcast revealed that authorities in Birmingham repeatedly warned Gove, who was England’s education secretary when the controversy started, that the anonymous letter was “bogus.”
Gove and Timothy’s Policy Exchange report includes a timeline of events leading up to the anonymous letter, the investigations conducted by public bodies, media coverage of the original affair and comment on the NYT “The Trojan Horse Affair” podcast.
The podcast questioned both the letter and the UK government’s handling of the controversy, which included a storm of allegations and disciplinary procedures, such as banning a school governor from working in education as well as lifetime professional bans for some teachers.
In his report, Gove wrote that the podcast series “was replete with errors and omissions,” describing it as a “travesty” that took the side of activists seeking to undermine the UK government’s narratives about the affair.
The Times highlighted in 2014 obvious errors in the anonymous Birmingham letter, suggesting it was “a fake, including a plot to oust a headteacher who had been removed 20 years earlier.”
NEW YORK: Twitter is once again attempting to launch its premium service, a month after a previous attempt failed.
The social media company said Saturday it would let users buy subscriptions to Twitter Blue to get a blue checkmark and access special features starting Monday.
The blue checkmark was originally given to companies, celebrities, government entities and journalists verified by the platform. After Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, he launched a service granting blue checks to anyone willing to pay $8 a month. But it was inundated by imposter accounts, including those impersonating Musk’s businesses Tesla and SpaceX, so Twitter suspended the service days after its launch.
The relaunched service will cost $8 a month for web users and $11 a month for iPhone users. Twitter says subscribers will see fewer ads, be able to post longer videos and have their tweets featured more prominently.
DUBAI: A second journalist has died while covering the FIFA World Cup in Doha.
Qatari photojournalist Khalid Al-Misslam died ‘suddenly’ over the weekend, Fox Sports website reported, quoting the Doha-based news outlet Gulf Times.
“Al-Misslam, a Qatari, died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We believe in Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, and send our deepest condolences to his family,” Gulf Times said.
The circumstances around the death of Al-Misslam, who was working for Qatari news channel Al-Kass TV, are unclear as mention of his passing was only briefly mentioned during the channel’s live broadcast.
The Qatari journalist’s death comes after the demise of US journalist Grant Wahl, who died while covering the Netherlands-Argentina match.
Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated sportswriter who moved to the Substack online publishing platform, collapsed at Lusail Iconic Stadium and was rushed to a nearby hospital before his death.
Wahl’s brother Eric, who is from the LGBTQ community, has raised suspicion that the journalist did not die but may have been killed.
“I am the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the world cup. I do not believe my brother just died, I believe he was killed,” Eric was quoted by Daily Mail as saying.
Wahl said he was briefly detained in November when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. World Cup security also asked him to take his shirt off, of which he refused, to be granted entry into Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan for the United States’ opener against Wales.
He was later granted entry and a FIFA representative has apologized for the incident.
SAN FRANCISCO: Elon Musk on Sunday targeted America’s outgoing top infectious disease official and key adviser of the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony Fauci, in a viral tweet that sparked backlash.
“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” the billionaire Twitter CEO said, alluding to the practice of indicating gender pronouns after one’s name as well as the right-wing campaign to charge Fauci with crimes related to his involvement in US Covid policies.
Musk also posted a meme showing Fauci telling US President Joe Biden, “Just one more lockdown, my king…” — in apparent criticism of the Covid mitigation measure Musk has repeatedly slammed but has not been deployed in the country for over a year.
Early in the pandemic, Musk tweeted that concern over the virus was “dumb” and since taking over Twitter has removed its policy targeting Covid misinformation.
Musk’s tweet quickly went viral, receiving over 800,000 likes within some 11 hours but also sparking swift criticism.
Vaccine scientist and author Peter Hotez called on Musk to delete the tweet, saying, “200,000 Americans needlessly lost their lives from Covid due to this kind of antiscience rhetoric and disinformation.”
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar praised how Fauci “calmly guided our country through crisis” and addressed Musk, saying: “Could you just leave a good man alone in your seemingly endless quest for attention?“
But Musk received praise from right-wing corners.
Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had been removed from Twitter over Covid misinformation but whose account was reinstated under Musk’s leadership, tweeted: “I affirm your pronouns Elon.”
Republican lawmakers have pledged to grill Fauci when they take control of the House of Representatives in January, after locking horns repeatedly with the top immunologist over Covid vaccines, mask mandates and other pandemic-related issues.
Fauci, 81, is due to step down this month from his roles in government as Biden’s chief medical adviser, as well as director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which he has headed since 1984.
In what was likely his final White House appearance in November, Fauci slammed the proliferation of bad health advice online and said the most difficult thing he had to deal with while helming America’s fight against Covid was the country’s polarization along political lines.


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