3 min read

I love ‘Anne’, r/relationship’s mod queen

The week in content moderation - edition #39

Hello and well done for almost making it through another week. I’m hoping yours has been better than Mr M. Zuckerberg (more on that below).

This is my seventh consecutive week sending EiM (my best hot streak to date) and I’m keen to get your feedback. Two short questions: what do you open EiM for? And what one thing could I do to make it better? Do reply and let me know – I appreciate it.

Thanks for reading — BW

My new crush

It’s always been notable to me how, in the growing coverage of online content moderation, the voices of moderators are often left out or, at best, framed as the victims of large platform’s outsourced whims.

It’s for that reason that I loved The Atlantic’s profile of 'Anne', a 58-year old moderator of r/relationships, Reddit’s popular community of amateur Agony Aunts.

There are lots of interesting nuggets in there (/relationships' 2.5m members are served by around 36 part-time mods) but my main takeaway is that 'Anne' sounds like a hoot, someone you’d want to listen to and get drunk with, a real person if you will.

I liked her so much I wanted to share a few choice quotes from the piece:

  • “You know what? Fuck you” - about Reddit user’s trying to avoid adding a TL;DR, which is standard for the r/relationships subreddit.
  • "I would rather roll naked in my own vomit” - reacting to users posting 15 picture-long text message exchanges on the subreddit.
  • “They’re popcorn-eaters. They want the schadenfreude; they want to see a big production, and it’s not what we want” - on trolls who come to r/relationships without intending to contribute.

Now read the whole thing and revel in Anne's majesty.

Zuck, you suck

There are so many parts of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress that I would like to mention here but this is most relevant for you guys and also great viewing: Congresswoman Katie Porter asking the Facebook chief if he’d spend ONE HOUR moderating content from his platform.

You can guess his reply. Read a written account of the exchange here.

Not forgetting...

Instagram has had a behind-closed-door meeting with a number of artists about the platform’s policy on the naked form. Despite an NDA being in place, Mic (remember them?) has found out there was 'difficult conversations from well-meaning people trying to find solutions'.

What happened during Instagram's closed-door meeting about its nudity policies?

Instagram has morphed from a simple photo-sharing app into an essential platform for artists and brands to post their work. For artists in particular, this has been a difficult development. The company’s nudity policy has been restrictive and caused…

TikTok has launched six new videos as part of its You’re in Control series to teach users how to keep themselves safe. Even as someone who doesn’t use TikTok, they’re pretty watchable.

TikTok Collaborates With 12 Creators For New 'You're In Control' Online Safety Videos - Tubefilter

Shortform video platform TikTok has released a second group of installments in its series You’re in Control series

Buzzfeed has contested the idea that TikTok is censoring Hong Kong protest content (EiM #36, Chinese rules, applied globally), instead suggesting that activists just aren’t a fan of the platform.

TikTok Users Are Finally Posting About Hong Kong, But Only To See If They'll Get Censored

BuzzFeed News found no evidence that TikTok blocks pro–Hong Kong democracy videos — or that many American teens were interested in the protests.

Professor Kate Klonick’s short Twitter thread (written up by Boing Boing) shows the difficulty of regulating (legally or otherwise) the big social platforms.

An important, elegant thought experiment on content moderation regulation / Boing Boing

Kate Klonick (previously) logged into Twitter to find that her trending topics were: "Clarence Thomas," "#MakeADogsDay," "Adam Neumann" and "#Lynching"

Imgur, the image-sharing site, is taking a more targeted approach to moderation by no longer displaying content from Reddit’s NSFW forums.

The Always-Up-to-Date Guide to Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi

Image-sharing site Imgur announced this week that it’s distancing itself from Reddit’s smuttier corners and will no longer display content from the forum’s NSFW communities.

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