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AI safety risks not to be 'exaggerated', abortion content report and Hamilton 68 creator

The week in content moderation - edition #251

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation's Week in Review, your in-depth guide to the policies, products, platforms and people shaping the future of online speech and the internet. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw and supported by paying members.

Talk about getting straight back into it. After a week off, I’ve returned to news that the Supreme Court is close to deciding on the NetChoice cases and that the one of the top research centres for internet speech is set to scale back its work. I'm left with the feeling that internet speech — and the careful and important work done by trust and safety professionals — is at a crossroads. But here we are.

A quick note of thanks to those you who joined the subscriber hangout to celebrate the 250th edition of EiM — I hope to do more of those in the future — and welcome to new folks from Microsoft, Nisos, Securium, Tech Policy Press, Arwen, the Peace Research Institute and elsewhere.

Here's everything in moderation from the last seven days — BW

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New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

Online hate and harassment surged in 2023 in large part due to the Israel/Palestine conflict, according to ADL's annual survey. Online Hate and Harassment: The American Experience 2024 revealed that severe online harassment affected 22% of Americans, up from 18% in 2023, with notable increases among people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ individuals. Facebook saw the highest incidence of harassment, while WhatsApp and Telegram also reported significant rises. It’s a frank and somewhat bleak picture of how much work we have to do.

This one is from a little over a week ago but it’s worth noting: Australia’s eSafety Commission has dropped its case against X/Twitter over the Wakeley church stabbing videos. Mike and I discussed the downsides of having a government regulator attempt to decide content for users globally. But any credit that might be given to Elon Musk’s company for testing this in court was undone by the doxxing that ensued as a result of his crowing tweet. 

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