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🆕 Real-time n̶e̶w̶s̶ transparency

Everything in Moderation
🆕 Real-time n̶e̶w̶s̶ transparency
Judging by a handful of new subscribers, it seems that EiM has broken (ed: perhaps too strong?) into Scandinavia.
So hello to folks from YLE in Finland and Altinget in Denmark, not to mention a familiar face now working at Zinc. Good to have a diverse set of readers - do reply or use the ‘enjoy this issue?’ button at the bottom to get in touch with your feedback.

Trying for transparency
It wasn’t so long ago that Twitter were pushing their live news credentials. Now questions are being asked about their ability to be real-time in a different way: transparency.
This was just one of the themes that came out of Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg’s appearance at the House Energy Committee hearing, which sounded cordial by most accounts. Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier, who was at the hearing, summed up the mood in a thread: 
Sarah Frier
And the company response is like: Well, once we see bad things, we do stuff about it. We don't like bad stuff either.
But that's not the big question. The question is, do they know enough about what's going on on their platforms to provide transparency for users in the moment?
The focus on transparency in the US is timely since it’s also what UK media bosses joined forces to call for in a letter sent to The Sunday Telegraph this week. Bosses at the BBC, BT, Sky and others put aside their broadcasting rivalries to call for ‘accountability and transparency over the decisions these private companies are already taking.‘ 
By the end of the hearing, Dorsey had agreed to producing a report to make public data about harassment on the platform ‘this year’ but it’s clear that won’t be enough. Users, politicians and organisations alike want real-time transparency, not after-the-fact reports. 
It’s what makes Narrative, a new social network currently in beta, so interesting. Set up by the founders of forum platform Hoop.la (I hadn’t heard of it either but it has some notable commercial clients including Bose and Pinterest) one of its selling points is that it elects users to a Tribunal and makes every moderation action visible and searchable.
When you add that 85% of revenue goes to its users, it sounds like the opposite of Sandberg and Dorsey’s employers. Both could do worse than sign-up for a beta invite…
Peak content moderation?
Google Trends for 'content moderation'
Google Trends for 'content moderation'
The previous spike in 2014? When Wired uncovered the moderation conditions at Facebook’s third parties.
People behind the posts
Behind all of the discussion about Point and Engadget did an investigation in which they spoke to 10 moderators across the UK and US. The level of abuse is startling. 
Not forgetting
A short history of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) – TechCrunch
This 30-something year old law is the current legislation that decides whether social networks are liable for what’s posted not their platforms. And it’s lenient. 
The Scunthorpe Problem, And Why AI Is Not A Silver Bullet - Techdirt
Techdirt, who have written some great stuff on moderation recently, points out that the holy grail of AI-powered moderation it must not succumb to the ‘Scunthorpe problem’. 
Point and Engadget did an investigation in which they spoke to 10 Reddit moderators across the UK and US. The level of abuse is startling. 
Thanks for reading - see you next week!
Thanks for reading - see you next week!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ben from Everything in Moderation

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