6 min read

How to combat 'spamouflage', OpenAI disband safety team and sunsetting Section 230

The week in content moderation - edition #249

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.

At what point will we know the extent of the impact of generative AI on online safety? That's the question I'm contemplating as two of the biggest technology companies publicly reflect on their approaches to AI safety. Both exude an 'everything will be fine' attitude but how can we be sure? More on that below.

Next week's newsletter is the 250th edition of EiM and, to mark the occasion, I'm hosting an subscriber hangout with Alice Hunsberger, author of the T&S Insider newsletter, next Friday at 3pm BST. There's no agenda, just a chance to meet some EiMers and talk shop. Interested? All you have to do is share your name and email address.

EiM members will get priority so now's a good time to consider becoming a supporter of EiM to guarantee your place.

And with that excitement out of the way, here's your online speech news from the last seven days — BW

Today's edition is in partnership with Tremau, a leading Trust & Safety service provider offering a unique combination of moderation platform & advisory services

Amid evolving regulations in the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, and the rest of the world, Tremau guides some of the largest platforms in crafting T&S policies and building compliance strategies.

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New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

Wednesday's US subcommittee hearing on the Section 230 sunset bill (EiM #248, Ctrl-Alt-Speech) saw three expert witnesses debate the pitfalls and potential “unintended consequence” of repealing the law. The Verge has a full rundown of what was said while Tech Policy Press has key takeaways and a lightly edited transcript from the hearing for those that missed it.

There's also been a flurry of commentary about the bill this week, which demonstrates the concern among US legislative experts about the bill moving forwards: 

  • The Center for Democracy and Technology called a full-scale repeal the “wrong approach” and advocated for the refining, rather than elimination, of the law.
  • EFF argued strongly that the law “benefits the millions of users who don’t have the resources to build and host their own blogs, email services, or social media sites".
  • Progress Chamber's Jess Miers wrote for Techdirt about five cases in which Section 230 played a pivoted role.

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