Non-profit

Article 19 Inc.

Website:

www.article19.org/

Tax ID:

27-1337098

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $3,226,477
Expenses: $3,719,363
Assets: $637,788

Headquarters:

108-114 Golden Lane

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Type:

Civil Rights Organization

Founded:

1987

Executive Director:

Quinn McKew

Article 19, Inc. is a United Kingdom-based human rights organization that works on issues related to freedom of expression and the right to protest. The organization also works on issues related to freedom of the press. The organization’s name comes from Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms the right to freedom of expression in the nations that have signed it. 1

The organization works in many countries around the world, including the United States; Article 19 maintains an office in New York City. 2

In October 2022, the organization laid out some ideas for incoming Elon Musk that it claimed would help protect freedom of expression online as he prepared to purchase Twitter. Among its proposals was maintaining the right to create anonymous accounts and increasing transparency in content moderation. 3

Overview

Article 19, Inc. is a London, United Kingdom-based human rights and civil liberties organization. The organization focuses on issues related to freedom of expression, the right to protest, and freedom of the press. 4

Most of the work it does is targeted towards dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes. However, it does work in democratic countries such as the United States and the nations of Western Europe. It maintains an office in New York City. 5

The organization’s name comes from an article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 affirms the right to freedom of expression globally. 6

The organization works with the United Nations and other international and regional bodies. 7

History

The organization was founded in 1987 in London by J. Roderick MacArthur, Aryeh Neier, and Martin Ennals. The first executive director was Northern Ireland human rights campaigner Kevin Boyle. 8

In 1989, the organization launched its first campaign in defense of author Salman Rushdie. Rushdie was threatened with a death sentence by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini for blasphemy in his book The Satanic Verses. 9

Advocacy

Issues of Focus

Article 19 focuses on protecting freedom of expression. There are various issues that it works on including access to information, censorship, the relationship between business and human rights, privacy and surveillance, national security and counter terrorism, and countering discrimination against racial, religious, and sexual minorities. 10

Unlike other pressure groups that call for censorship to combat so-called “hate speech,” Article 19 instead calls for more speech and protecting the right to freedom of expression for targeted minorities. 11

Reaction To Elon Musk Takeover of Twitter

In October 2022, the organization released a series of suggestions for businessman Elon Musk who was attempting to purchase social media platform Twitter. Musk made public statements that he wished to expand freedom of speech online through his purchase. 12

The organization reminded Musk that he must follow the laws enacted by the European Union that are targeted at online expression and digital privacy. It also encouraged more transparency in content moderation decisions and a decentralized decision-making process. Finally, it urged Twitter to continue to permit the use of anonymous accounts. 13

Leadership

As of November 2022, the executive director of Article 19 was Quinn McKew. Previously, McKew worked for environmentalist organizations in the United States as well as Europe’s “largest nonprofit management consultancy.” 14

Funding

The organization receives funding from both governments and nonprofit left-of-center organizations.

Article 19’s donors include Angelica Foundation, DW Akademie, Ford Foundation, Freedom House, Fritt Ord, Guardian Foundation, Hivos, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Natural Resources Governance Institute, Norwegian Press Association, Open Society Foundations, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. 15

The organization maintains some of its financial data in the United States. According to its 2020 U.S. tax returns, the organization had $3,226,477 in reportable revenue and $3,719,363 in reportable expenses. It had $637,788 in reportable assets. 16

References

  1. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  2. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  3. “Twitter: What Elon Musk Must Do If He Really Wants to Protect Free Speech.” ARTICLE 19, October 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/resources/twitter-protect-free-speech/.
  4. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  5. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  6. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  7. “About Us.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/.
  8. “Defending Expression since 1987.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://stories.article19.org/article-19-defending-expression-since-1987/index.html
  9. “Defending Expression since 1987.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://stories.article19.org/article-19-defending-expression-since-1987/index.html.
  10. “What We Do.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/what-we-do/.
  11. “Equality and Hate Speech Archives.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/issue/equality-and-hate-speech/.
  12. “Twitter: What Elon Musk Must Do If He Really Wants to Protect Free Speech.” ARTICLE 19, October 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/resources/twitter-protect-free-speech/.
  13. “Twitter: What Elon Musk Must Do If He Really Wants to Protect Free Speech.” ARTICLE 19, October 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/resources/twitter-protect-free-speech/.
  14. “Team.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/about-us/team/.
  15.   “Governance and Funding.” ARTICLE 19. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://www.article19.org/financials/.
  16. “Article 19 Inc, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica. Accessed November 28, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/271337098/202132929349300803/full.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2011

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $3,226,477 $3,719,363 $637,788 $0 N $3,226,145 $0 $332 $0
    2019 Dec Form 990 $3,855,769 $3,239,304 $1,130,674 $0 N $3,855,407 $0 $362 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $1,124,039 $1,315,715 $514,259 $0 N $1,123,765 $0 $274 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $734,919 $370,780 $705,935 $0 N $734,705 $0 $214 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $510,933 $235,402 $341,313 $0 N $510,861 $0 $72 $186,395 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $91 $210,175 $65,782 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $165,947 $24,334 $275,866 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $134,253 $0 $134,253 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF