5 min read

What The Wire did next, age limits on livestreaming and the speech risks of BeReal

The week in content moderation - edition #178
Siddharth Varadarajan, founder of The Wire, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Siddharth Varadarajan, founder of The Wire, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Colour applied

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your (later than usual) review of the week's content moderation and online safety news. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw.

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Here's everything you need to know — BW


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

The big story from last week — Meta's full-on fight with The Wire — has moved on significantly, as I predicted (EiM #177). If you struggled to keep tabs this week, the key developments were as follows:

  • An internal investigation by Meta revealed that the Workplace account which formed the core of the story and part of The Wire's rebuttal was set up three days after the first story was published.
  • One of the two experts who verified the emails purportedly sent by Meta spokesperson Andy Stone performed an abrupt u-turn and said he wasn't contacted during the process before the story was published.
  • On Tuesday, The Wire published a statement saying it would remove the articles while it undertook "an internal review of the materials at our disposal".
  • On the same day, the Instagram post that started the whole thing was silently reinstated by Meta and the takedown notification was removed, according to the user who posted it.
  • In an interview with Platformer, Siddharth Varadarajan, editor-in-chief of The Wire, admitted that the technical verification of the source material for the story was a "weakness for us" and that he was "not a technical guy, email headers are all gobbledygook to me".
  • The whole saga "can be best summed up as utter confusion", according to Rest of the World, which is the article to start with if you're just catching up.

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