In Content or Context Moderation?, Data & Society Affiliate Robyn Caplan draws from interviews with representatives at 10 major digital platforms to identify three content moderation strategies: artisanal, community-reliant, and industrial.
“Public oversight,” writes Caplan, “needs to incorporate not only the context of speech, but the organizational dynamics of platforms, to understand where new rules should be developed (for types of content) and where more resources are necessary.”
This report provides fresh insights for those developing content moderation policy and regulation by illustrating how leading companies’ missions, business models, and team sizes influence their approaches. Along the way, the report teases out the emergent challenges and tensions these actors face in balancing context and consistency.
"Concerns about the rise of hate speech and disinformation have increased the amount of public scrutiny being placed on search engine and social media companies that are responsible for mediating much of the world’s information."
Caplan finds that each approach has different trade-offs between moderating content in context and maintaining consistency across a large scale, depending on resource needs and organizational dynamics.