Will Oremus @WillOremus oh-REE-mus. Senior writer for OneZero at @medium: onezero.medium.com/ Previously: @slate. I write about how tech shapes us. DM for Signal. Jun. 11, 2019 1 min read

I wrote about the one content moderation rule that tech platforms follow with absolute consistency: If a decision becomes too controversial, change it.  https://onezero.medium.com/the-one-rule-of-content-moderation-that-every-platform-follows-ab6323e0e293 

It's tempting to think that the inconsistency itself is the problem. Certainly it gives fodder to conservatives to accuse the platforms of caving to "mob rule." But the inconsistency is a symptom of a deeper issue: The rules weren't well thought-out in the first place.

I talked with two experts who have been studying online speech moderation from different angles: @davidakaye & @jmgrygiel. Both agreed tech platforms are failing us, and offered interesting (and slightly different) solutions.  https://onezero.medium.com/the-one-rule-of-content-moderation-that-every-platform-follows-ab6323e0e293 

I like @davidakaye's idea that what's missing from corporate regulation of online speech is an equivalent of "case law." Even when companies *are* applying their rules consistently, we can't tell, because the process and precedents they're relying on are totally opaque.

I found @jmgrygiel's lens maybe even more compelling. They argue that companies like FB, Google, and Twitter changing their stances in the face of a backlash is not a sign that the system is broken, but actually a crucial component of the feedback loop.

The last tweet in this tweetstorm (I promise, maybe) is that I really wanted to put "Calvinball" in the headline but @bryanrwalsh & @dlberes said no because they are wise and also mean but mostly wise.


You can follow @WillOremus.



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