5 min read

'Momentous' Supreme Court hearing, running an anti-troll unit and pro-Palestinian speech

The week in content moderation - edition #236

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.

Clear your diaries, cancel your plans; next week will be all eyes on the Supreme Court hearing that could "reshape social media". I've rounded up some of the must-read articles and analyses coming out of the US this week but let me know if there's anything that's caught your eye.

This week saw EiM pass a mini-milestone: 2,500 subscribers (🎉) including many of the most influential thinkers and doers in online speech and internet regulation. New folks from Zevo Health, Paladin Group, Google, PartnerHero, Trustpilot, West End Strategy, thanks for joining them.

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

Today’s edition is in partnership with SafetyKit. SafetyKit applies your custom policies to 100% of your content and tickets so you can finally stop playing whack-a-mole

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New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

The countdown is over: the Texas (EiM #139) and Florida cases (#151) that arose out of the Capitol Riots and led to calls of conservative speech suppression will finally be heard by the Supreme Court next week.

A host of op-eds and analysis have been published in preparation, very little of which has been complimentary about the laws or particularly hopeful about the outcome:

  • Law professor Zephyr Teachout argues in The Atlantic that "If these poorly written laws go into effect, harmful things may happen" but that the outcome shouldn't stop better versions from being passed in future
  • In Slate, Richard L Hansen claims that a ruling in favour of the states would "turn the First Amendment upside down and create the conditions for undermining American democracy."
  • Devon Ombres and Nicola Alvarez at Center for American Progress say the laws "would lead to a landscape where extremist and defamatory content flourishes and mainstream content is pushed to the fringes".

"The decision will be momentous" was how one legal expert put it. Certainly feels that way.

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