Mar 5, 2019

U.S. ranks third among G20 nations in Google censorship requests

While not a perfect barometer for web freedoms, Google's annual transparency report provides one of the oldest and most comprehensive datasets of government requests to censor or take down content.

Data: Google Transparency Report; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A source tell us the trend lines are similar to requests other big web platforms have experienced.

The big picture: Data from 2009 to 2018 show that certain countries are much more aggressive in their asks to take content down.

  • Turkey: During and after the attempted coup in July 2016, requests went up in Turkey, mainly because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was trying to silence coup planners, according to an industry source.
  • America: Requests by the U.S. government mimic a high use of internet platform technology overall.
  • China: It's likely that Chinese officials don't submit many of these requests, simply because it doesn't want to concede publicly just how much users are accessing banned websites via VPNs, the industry source tells Axios.

Go deeper ... Report: Google's China plan stymied after privacy debate

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#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.

JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.