6 min read

How to scale trust on the web, EU sets up shop in San Francisco and PhotoDNA update

The week in content moderation - edition #206
How to scale trust on the web, EU sets up shop in San Francisco and PhotoDNA update
Pride sign at the Washington Capital Pride Parade in 2011 by ep_jhu and licensed CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Colour applied

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.

If there is a theme this week, it is that there are consequences to platforms' actions. Decisions to drastically cut safety teams, to ignore the concerns of moderators and to not police guidelines that keep marginalised users safe will catch up with you in the end, as Elon Musk is discovering.

It's not all bad, however; look out for improvements to CSAM detection and an action-orientated report. Plus there's a handful of new EiM subscribers too, which always gives me hope. If you've been forwarded this by a colleague, peer or friend, sign up here.

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


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

A rich and detailed new report calling for "investments in systems-level solutions that reflect the expanding communities dedicated to protecting trust and safety on the web" has been published by the Task Force for a Trustworthy Web (EiM #192). The forty-person strong group of industry experts has been working together since January to identify industry gaps and identify "immediate interventions that could catalyze safer, more trustworthy online spaces, now and in the future." Learning from gaming and more mature adjacent fields were just two sensible-sounding ideas.

There is too much in the report to summarise here, but I was glad to see the media highlighted as a key component of explaining what trust and safety teams do (something I've discussed before). I plan to share a Q&A with Kat Duffy, the Task Force director, on the finer details of the report in next week's edition — get in touch if you have questions you'd like me to ask her.

"If a law is enacted, Twitter commits to comply with it,": that was Elon Musk's response in a TV interview about the Digital Services Act on France 2 this week, although whether that means much is another thing. The EU's self-declared "enforcer" Thierry Breton (EiM #88 and others) clearly doesn't think so: he travelled to San Francisco himself to "ensure that the big platforms are ready" for the arrival of the DSA and to inaugurate the new EU office in San Francisco. His speech, published on Linkedin, sought to bust some myths about the block's approach to regulation and reassured US listeners that "there will be no Ministry of Truth. What there will be is transparency."

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