Over the last five years, public, advocacy, and policy concerns about content moderation and the power of social media platforms has expanded enormously. This is a good thing. But even as this attention has grown, the debates we’re having today are troublingly narrow – in their understanding of moderation, and of platforms.
Academic scholarship on content moderation can contribute to these increasingly urgent discussions, but it must treat moderation as a multi-faceted socio-technical phenomenon, functioning in many contexts and taking many forms. Prof. Gillespie is concerned by the narrowness of our understanding of the variety of moderation tactics, of which platforms we pose as examples and which harms we emphasize, and by our inability to recognize and account for moderation by other means.
In this seminar, Prof. Gillespie provides his take on the need to expand our understanding of content moderation and platforms in policy discussions.