5 min read

Ofcom prepares to take the reins, voice startup acquired and Airbnb's 'party pooper'

The week in content moderation - edition #217

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your weekly 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.

A big hello to a plethora of new subscribers from Slate, Partnership on AI, University of Pittsburgh, Futurium, Navercorp, Public.io, Wikimedia, Thorn, Rest of World, Mozilla and other pockets of the web. We're going to get on pretty well, I'd say.

This week, I'm kicking off a new series called "Go and subscribe to.." which celebrates the brilliant newsletters that I read in the course of producing EiM each week. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. Read on for more.

Here's everything in moderation from the last seven days — BW

Today’s edition is in partnership with Unitary, an AI company specialising in content understanding tools for online safety

Calling all UK EiM readers! Join Unitary & Checkstep for a fun and fascinating evening all about AI and online safety. They’ll explore how AI is not an overused buzzword, but a powerful tool that's reshaping how we protect ourselves and communities online.

Thursday, October 5th at 6pm in Central London - drinks, canapes and networking with special speakers, Sasha Haco (Unitary) and Dr. Hannah Shimko (Online Dating Association). Only a few free tickets left!


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

"Sweeping". "Controversial". Part of the "crackdown on Big Tech companies". A "new chapter". Those were the words used in headlines this week to describe a day that some never thought would come: the final passing, on Tuesday, of the UK's Online Safety Bill.

Technology secretary Michelle Donelan (not for the first time) called it a "game-changing piece of legislation" while critics lined up to call it a "minefield of potential suppression and data privacy" and a "dangerous piece of authoritarian legislation". No-one really knows but the bill now goes forward to royal assent — the final formal stage that we cam expect before the end of October — before Ofcom begins its consultation on the first set of standards.

In the meantime, a powerful government committee is inviting evidence about the regulator's preparedness, which will be an interesting next milestone.

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