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The Tech Policy Greenhouse is an online symposium where experts tackle the most difficult policy challenges facing innovation and technology today. These are problems that don’t have easy solutions, where every decision involves tradeoffs and unintended consequences, so we’ve gathered a wide variety of voices to help dissect existing policy proposals and better inform new ones.
from the building-a-better,-more-ethical-internet dept
Wed, Sep 16th 2020 12:03pm —
When we launched Techdirt Greenhouse, we noted that we wanted to build a tech policy forum that not only tackled the thorniest tech policy issues of the day, but did so with a little more patience and nuance than you’ll find at many gadget-obsessed technology outlets. After our inaugural panel tackled privacy, we just wrapped on our second panel subject: content moderation. We’d like to thank all of those that participated in the panel, and all of you for reading.
You’d be hard pressed to find a thornier, more complicated subject than content moderation. On one hand, technology giants have spent years prioritizing ad engagement over protecting their user base from malicious disinformation and hate speech, often with fatal results. At the same time, many of the remedies being proposed cause more harm than good by trampling free speech, or putting giant corporations into the position of arbiters of acceptable public discourse. Moderation at this scale is a nightmare. One misstep in federal policy and you’ve created an ocean of new problems.
Whether it’s the detection and deletion of live-streaming violence, or protecting elections from foreign and domestic propaganda, it’s a labyrinthine, multi-tendriled subject that can flummox even experts in the field. We’re hopeful that this collection of pieces helped inform the debate in a way that simplified some of these immensely complicated issues. Here’s a recap of the pieces from this round in case you missed them:
Much like the privacy debate, crafting meaningful content moderation guidelines and rules (and ensuring consistent, transparent enforcement) was a steep uphill climb even during the best of times. Now the effort will share fractured attention spans and resources with an historic pandemic, recovering from the resulting economic collapse, and addressing the endless web of socioeconomic and political dysfunction that is the American COVID-19 crisis. But, much like the privacy debate, it’s an essential discussion to have all the same, and we hope folks found this collection informative.
Again, we’d like to thank our participants for taking the time to provide insight during an increasingly challenging time. We’d also like to thank Techdirt readers and commenters for participating. In a few weeks we’ll be announcing the next panel; one that should prove timely during an historic health crisis that has forced the majority of Americans to work, play, innovate, and learn from the confines of home.
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