5 min read

The unintended consequences of policy, Japan's 'netto-uyoku' problem and expanding Birdwatch

The week in content moderation - edition #172
Former Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe in London in 2019
Former Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe was assassinated in July 2022 by a man radicalised through reading Yahoo! News Japan (photo courtesy of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office under CC BY 2.0)

Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your all-in-one weekly guide to the world of online safety and content moderation. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw.

Unforeseen circumstances meant the EiM summer break was a little longer than planned but I'm glad to be back in your inbox.

A special welcome to those that have become subscribers to EiM since the last edition; people from the Technology Coalition, Microsoft, MSN, Bumble, Adobe, Google, Logically, Linklaters, Sidechat, ActiveFence and elsewhere. To the two dozen EiM members who support the newsletter, a big thanks to you too.

I write EiM (almost) every week to help people like you stay on top of this fast-evolving space and to try and unpack what the changes — to policies, products and platforms — mean for you and your organisation. Do drop me a line and let me know what you're working on and what brought you here.

Here's what you need to know this week - BW


New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation

Hate speech in Japan is a huge problem for platforms like Twitter and Wikipedia and lurks "out of sight" of mainstream media coverage, according to an interesting read from TIME magazine. Under-resourced teams of moderators and the failure to create counter-narratives mean that historical revisionism and xenophobic views of Korea and China are rife online.

The article explains how the main culprits are "netto-uyoku", loud, far-right Japanese netizens that represent just 2% of Japanese internet users but account for the majority of the abuse. They target many of the country's minority groups, including Zainichi Koreans. My read of the week.

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