6 min read

Moderators (finally) unite, US states turn to age verification and TikTok's Han steps down

The week in content moderation - edition #199

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your rundown of the need-to-know online safety stories from the last seven days. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw and supported by members like you.

It's great to be back in your inbox after taking a few weeks off to tie the knot. There's been an influx of new subscribers since then (thanks in large part to Alice) so welcome to folks from Logically, Trustpilot, Meta, Pendulum, Ofcom, Electronic Arts, Spectrum Labs, Google, Walmart, Disinfo Defense League, KPMG, Thorn, Twitch, Pinterest and many more.

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Here's everything in moderation this week — BW

Today's edition is in partnership with All Things in Moderation, a new two-day moderation conference

All Things in Moderation (May 11-12, 2023) will host global moderation practitioners, leading researchers, policymakers and those invested in the governance of digital social spaces.

The virtual event spans two days of keynotes, workshops, and panels, on topics including: building online cultures of care, burnout and vicarious trauma, and institutional support for moderation. Get a ticket and join me there.


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

The European Commission has named the 19 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) or search engines (VLOSE) that will be covered by the Digital Services Act when it comes into force at the end of August. These are the platforms which have more than 45 monthly active users in the EU and that must report algorithmic risks under the new legislation.

Rita Wezenbeek, director of platforms at the European Commission, DG Connect, used the Politico Tech summit (recording here) to explain that the focus of the DSA was to "tell the outside world what they do in terms of content moderation" and, in doing so, establish "decency and legal certainty on their platforms".

Wezenbeek also noted that hiring continues to take place for Digital Services Coordinators in each of the member countries, who will supervise all intermediary services, impose penalties for non-compliance and liaise with the European Board for Digital Services. Article 19 noted this week that "much will depend on how [the DSA] is enforced" so these roles will have a vital role to play. I'll keep an eye out for appointments.

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