6 min read

'Ignorant policymaking', a decentralised TikTok and moderation microgrants

The week in content moderation - edition #248

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 members like you.

This week, T&S practitioners will gather at two great events — one in Dublin and one being held virtually — to share concerns and constructive solutions to the challenges of online speech and safety. If you're going, enjoy learning from fellow professionals. I look forward to hearing, and sharing here, conversations from both gatherings.

I'm not sure if government regulators will be in attendance in Ireland or via Zoom but the role of the state in determining online speech standards is very much present in today's edition of EiM. See if you can trace it as you go.

Here it is; your online speech and content moderation week in review. Thanks for reading — BW


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

The European Commission has initiated formal proceedings to determine if Meta violated the Digital Services Act regarding the protection of minors. The investigation — which is the second to be opened against the company in the past month (EiM #246) — focuses on whether algorithms potentially foster addictive behaviours in children as well as inadequate age-verification methods. The Commission will examine Meta's risk mitigation and privacy settings, potentially leading to enforcement measures that could include fines.

On the topic of the EU, here’s a story that’ll make Brexiteers squirm: the Commission has signed an administrative deal with Ofcom that will mean the two regulators co-operate on “technical expert dialogues, joint training of technical staff, sharing of best practices, joint studies and coordinated research project”. The agreement seemingly builds on the Global Online Safety Regulators Network which was founded in November 2022 to bring together eight regulators but does not include the EU.

Another week, another set of US lawmakers taking aim at Section 230. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican) and Frank Pallone Jr (Democrat) unveiled new bipartisan legislation alongside an op-ed in the WSJ in which they hoped to reimagine the law that “shield[s] them from any responsibility or accountability as their platforms inflict immense harms”.

My Ctrl-Alt-Speech co-host Mike Masnick called itone of the absolute worst, stupidest examples of ignorant policymaking by the damn fools that we keep electing to Congress” which I think says it all. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to get it wherever you listen.

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