Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your 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.
It's only the second week of January but the Substack story could have serious knock-on effects for platforms, users and creators alike and may end up setting the tone for the rest of the year. I'll share more this weekend but I'm interested in your take too — drop me a line and send me what you're reading.
It's a good week to come on board and a warm welcome to new subscribers from Meta, Checkr, Wired, Tremau, ByteDance, Anthropic and other corners of the web.
Here's everything you need to know about online speech, content moderation and platform regulation from the last seven days — BW
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New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation
A newly published longitudinal study looking at the effect of deplatforming on 101 influencers has found that removing a user's access to a platform reduced public interest and attention, particularly for less well-known individuals. Researchers from EPFL Switzerland and Rutgers University created a dataset of influencers and deplatforming events and then measured Wikipedia page views and Google search interest over a year to understand the different outcomes.
There are a number of interesting takeaways, as summarised by Justin Hendrix of Tech Policy Press, including the fact that "temporary deplatforming was similar to permanent deplatforming in how it reduced online attention toward influencers". Maybe someone could send this to the Substack founders (see Platform below).