6 min read

The algorithm that scores 'racy' photos, Kenya case update and three strikes for TikTok

The week in content moderation - edition #191
OnlyFans CEO Amrapali Gan on stage during day one of Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon Portugal
Amrapali Gan on stage during day one of Web Summit 2022 by Sam Barnes/Web Summit via Sportsfile and licensed CC BY 2.0. Colour applied 

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your speech governance and content moderation week-in-review. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw and supported by members like you.

EiM's mission, when I've tried to boil it down into something pithy, is to support and empower the people building a better internet. And it's for this reason that I'm excited about the new interview series I'm working on with the stellar Tim Bernard about how good (and bad) policy is created. We're starting to reach out to policy folks to ask them to participate but we also want to hear from you. Read on for how to do so.

New subscribers from Meedan, Common Cause, Counterhate, Snap, ActiveFence, Logically and other pockets of the web, don't be shy. You may be new around here but make sure you get involved as well. To the new EiM members, thanks for your support.

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

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New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

In the UK, two well-known think tanks caused a stir by calling the Online Safety Bill "not fit for purpose" and withdrawing support on the grounds that it "risks making the online world less safe for many". Writing for Politics Home, staff working for Demos and FairVote, who have given evidence to Parliament and produced work I've linked to here, noted that "good digital regulation is urgently needed" but the Bill "doesn’t get to grips with the nature and extent of online harms". The wise Heather Burns wrote that the bill had become "all narrative over substance" and was resembling "the end of a marriage". I await the divorce papers.

If you read last week's edition about India's Appellate Grievance Committee (EiM #190) and left concerned, well, there's even more reason to be worried. A proposed amendment to India's IT Rules (EiM #163) will introduce a new "fake" or "false" news justification for takedowns and "essentially mak[e] the Union Government the arbiter of permissible online speech". That's according to Prateek Waghre, Policy Director at the Internet Freedom Foundation, and Associate Policy Counsel Tejasi Panjiar in this excellent Tech Policy Press read.  Consultation on the revised amendment closes on 20th February so expect movement after that point.

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