6 min read

Investigating algorithmic moderation, Turkey turns on platforms and art vs moderation

The week in content moderation - edition #238

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.

Last week's news (EiM #237) that Alice Hunsberger will be writing weekly for EiM got some of you almost as excited as me. Her first newsletter proved to be a real talking point and I'm glad to welcome some fellow admirers of Alice's work as subscribers of EiM.

This week, I have another exciting announcement: I'm launching a weekly news podcast with the brilliant Mike Masnick of Techdirt.

Ctrl-Alt Speech will bring you the latest news in content moderation and internet regulation from both sides of the Atlantic and provide context and analysis to help you understand the difficult trade-offs at play. We're hoping it will become a must-listen for Trust and Safety professionals and anyone interested in who gets to speak online (which should be everyone). You can find a teaser episode via ctrlaltspeech.com or on your favourite podcast app.

Mike is renowned for his protocols work and is "something of a Silicon Valley oracle" (according to the New York Times, no less). I'm privileged to be working with him on this podcast. I'll be including regular reminders here in EiM but you can also subscribe to Ctrl-Alt-Speech wherever you get you podcasts.

Next week will see a return to the shorter intros of yore, I promise. For now, here's your weekly round-up — BW

Today's edition is in partnership with All Things in Moderation, the annual conference for humans who moderate

If you moderate, or if you care about building safe, thriving digital spaces, All Things In Moderation is for you.

Taking place online on May 16-17, ATIM is a must-attend event for moderators, community managers, researchers, policy-makers and technologists who want to learn from each other, network and collaborate.

Sessions include 'How to Support your Volunteer Moderators' and 'The Impact of Human and AI Content Moderation during the Israel-Palestine crisis' and much, much more...


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

More than 20 human rights and journalists’ groups have called for social media platforms in Turkey to withstand government pressure to take down critical content ahead of upcoming municipal elections at the end of the month. It comes after a Turkish court instructed X/Twitter and Meta to take down dozens of posts by government critics, which they proceeded to do to avoid sanctions, despite admitting that the content did not violate its guidelines.

Perspective: Twitter has long been a target for overreaching state leaders but its compliance with requests has jumped significantly since Elon Musk took over (EiM #199). Prior to that, it had built a reputation for publishing takedown data publicly and fighting governments in court but those days — when former legal, policy and trust lead Vijaya Gadde (#159) was at the helm — feel like a long time ago now.

Oh and belated happy Digital Markets Act implementation day to those that celebrated on Thursday. I noted in last week's newsletter how speech rules are made harder to implement by the size of companies (People, EiM #237) so the DMA — which attempts to make it easier for smaller companies to access the users of the big tech companies — is very interesting in this regard. Tech Policy Press explains more and there's a handy trend piece from the New York Times too.

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