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Content Moderation and the Power of Platforms - Emerging Interventions
Patricia A Aufderheide1, Sarah T Roberts2, Aram Sinnreich1, Nicolas Suzor3, Sarah Myers West4
1American University, United States of America; 2University of California, Los Angeles; 3Queensland University of Technology; 4New York University
Though AoIR scholars have been attuned to the issue for some time, content moderation has exploded as a pressing policy, advocacy, and public concern. From harassment to misinformation to hate speech to self-harm, across questions of rights, labor, and collective values – academics have explored how and why platforms moderate, what kind of publics they’re producing, and what responsibilities they should hold around these interventions. These questions all open up even more fundamental questions about the enormous power of platforms. This roundtable aims to bring together scholars who research content moderation, to consider the next set of pressing issues that should be on our radar.
This session will be devoted to interventions being explored by (1) policymakers and (2) the platforms themselves. Platform interventions include: Facebook's proposed oversight panel as a model, Tumblr's recent adult content ban, the implementation of the industry-wide anti-terrorism hash database, algorithmic copyright policing, and experimental efforts at counterspeech. Policy interventions include: European changes around hate speech, terrorism, and IP infringement, proposed regulations in the U.S., global concerns about election advertising, the implications of “walled garden” registries for platform moderation, and discussion about other policy levers like antitrust. We will also consider the growing role of academics, journalists, and civil society organizations in holding platforms accountable for their moderation policies and practices. We look forward to sparking a rich conversation with attendees, and to brainstorming with them next steps in research on moderation policy and practice.