5 min read

A new toolkit for integrity engineering, Reddit mods protest and stifling sex speech

The week in content moderation - edition #204
A new toolkit for integrity engineering, Reddit mods protest and stifling sex speech
An American voter putting a cross on a 2008 ballot by Lars Ploughman and licensed CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Colour applied

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your 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 members like you.

In today's platform-heavy edition, we see clear signs of the major social networks preparing the ground for next year's US election. The next 18 months are going to be interesting.

If you were at RightsCon in Costa Rica this week, I'd love to hear what you learnt and who you spoke to. And, as always, a warm welcome to new subscribers from Amazon, Google, Publicis Europe, Search for Common Ground, Spotify, Unitary and a host of others.

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


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

The-independent-but-Meta-funded Oversight Board received 1.3 million appeals from users to restore or remove content in 2022, mainly under the guise of violence and incitement or hate speech. That's the top line from the newly published annual report, which came out this week.

Throughput is still the Board's main challenge — it was only able to shortlist 50 cases for review and make 12 decisions in 12 months. But its impact is notable: 32 of those cases (64%) were deemed incorrect and reversed and it made 91 recommendations (up from 86 in 2021), of which a significant number were partially or fully implemented by Meta.

What does 2023 hold for the Oversight Board? More cases, for one thing, as well as "expedited decisions" and more knowledge sharing "with companies interested in setting up different bodies to set standards and oversee content governance.”

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