Politico: Facebook’s ‘supreme court’ struggles to set global free speech rules

Politico: Facebook’s ‘supreme court’ struggles to set global free speech rules. “Roughly two months since a group of outside experts started ruling on what people could post on Facebook, cracks in the so-called Oversight Board are already starting to show. So far, the independent body of human rights experts, free speech supporters and legal scholars that rules on what content Facebook must take down or put back up has reversed the social media giant’s decisions in four out of its first five cases.”

The New Republic: How a Bunch of Revolutionary War Reenactors Got Caught Up in Facebook’s Purge of Militia Groups

The New Republic: How a Bunch of Revolutionary War Reenactors Got Caught Up in Facebook’s Purge of Militia Groups. “[Rory] Nolan belongs to historical reenactment groups that sometimes dramatize Revolutionary War-era militias (you can begin to see the problem), and he manages the Facebook and Instagram pages for several of them. He tried to establish new accounts under new email addresses, but they didn’t last long before getting swept up in the same moderation process. Again, they were banned with no possibility of appeal. And like that, Nolan’s social media presence—and much of his social life—quietly winked out of existence.”

New York Times: For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony

New York Times: For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony. “In recent years, the company has become more proactive at restricting certain kinds of political speech, clamping down on posts about fringe extremist groups and on calls for violence. In January, Facebook barred Mr. Trump from posting on its site altogether after he incited a crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol. At the same time, misinformation researchers said, Facebook has had trouble identifying the slipperiest and subtlest of political content: satire. While satire and irony are common in everyday speech, the company’s artificial intelligence systems — and even its human moderators — can have difficulty distinguishing them.”

The Guardian: Facebook’s long-awaited content ‘supreme court’ has arrived. It’s a clever sham

The Guardian: Facebook’s long-awaited content ‘supreme court’ has arrived. It’s a clever sham. “Facebook faces a problem of two-sided economic incentives: dangerous and socially objectionable content is genuinely valuable to its bottom line, but so is the public perception that it’s proactively committed to maintaining a socially responsible and safe community. It designed the oversight board to escape this double-bind. Oversight by a legalistic body with the appearance of neutrality earns Facebook public goodwill and deflects blame for lax content moderation. But in designing the structure of the body itself, Facebook has virtually ensured certain financially beneficial outcomes: maximum content, even the dangerous and harmful, left online. The result is a win-win for Facebook.”

Poynter: Facebook has an apparent double standard over COVID-19 misinformation in Brazil, researchers say

Poynter: Facebook has an apparent double standard over COVID-19 misinformation in Brazil, researchers say. “Researchers want Facebook’s Oversight Board to evaluate the platform’s exemption of politicians from fact-checking after new research from Brazillian fact-checking organization Agência Lupa pointed to 29 examples of President Jair Bolsonaro spreading COVID-19 misinformation.”

USA Today: Looming Trump ban ruling is a distraction from Facebook’s real oversight crisis

USA Today: Looming Trump ban ruling is a distraction from Facebook’s real oversight crisis. “The Facebook Oversight Board’s verdict on whether to reinstate Donald Trump’s account is expected soon. Everyone is weighing in, from Bill Gates to Donald Trump himself. The decision has been breathlessly followed by some journalists as if it were a Supreme Court ruling; which I wish it was, because independent oversight over the outsized power of Facebook is desperately needed. Instead, we are watching a self-regulated facade of accountability. The internal Facebook processes should not distract from the need for independent, external oversight based on democratically mandated rules.”

Reuters: From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, social media grapples with live audio moderation

Reuters: From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, social media grapples with live audio moderation. “The explosive growth of Clubhouse, an audio-based social network buoyed by appearances from tech celebrities like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, has drawn scrutiny over how the app will handle problematic content, from hate speech to harassment and misinformation.”

Analytics India: Machine Learning, Indian Social Media’s Biggest Challenge Yet

Analytics India: Machine Learning, Indian Social Media’s Biggest Challenge Yet. “Earlier this month, the Government of India reprimanded Twitter for allowing fake, unverified, anonymous and automated bot accounts to be operated on its platform. The Secretary of MeitY raised doubts about the platform’s commitment to transparency and healthy conversation on this platform. The way Twitter and Facebook handled the events leading upto the elections in the US and the aftermath, has served as a wake up call to the governments around the world…”

Arizona State University: What the future of online content moderation might look like

Arizona State University: What the future of online content moderation might look like. “Future Tense, a partnership between New America, Slate and Arizona State University, recently brought together experts and professionals in the technology and public policy space to discuss the future of online content moderation and what it might look like in the coming years. During a conversation with Jennifer Daskal, New America ASU Future Security Fellow and professor and faculty director of the Tech, Law and Security Program at American University, technology policy leaders and professionals offered suggestions on what they think the Biden administration can do to promote effective online content moderation while remaining ethical and promoting growth and vigorous, free discourse on the internet.”

NBC News: Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’ overturns 4 cases in first rulings

NBC News: Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’ overturns 4 cases in first rulings. “The board, a group of 20 journalists, politicians and judges from around the world, was formed last year and has been tasked with passing judgment on the social media giant’s handling of the most difficult content issues. It claims total independence from Facebook, and Facebook has said that the decisions it makes will be binding.”

Techdirt: A Few More Thoughts On The Total Deplatforming Of Parler & Infrastructure Content Moderation

Techdirt: A Few More Thoughts On The Total Deplatforming Of Parler & Infrastructure Content Moderation. “I’ve delayed writing deeper thoughts on the total deplatforming of Parler, in part because there was so much else happening (including some more timely posts about Parler’s lawsuit regarding it), but more importantly because for years I’ve been calling for people to think more deeply about content moderation at the infrastructure layer, rather than at the edge. Because those issues are much more complicated than the usual content moderation debates.”

Lawfare Blog: The Facebook Oversight Board Should Review Trump’s Suspension

Lawfare Blog: The Facebook Oversight Board Should Review Trump’s Suspension. “While Congress works out what form of accountability it will impose on President Trump for inciting insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, the president has faced a swift and brutal reckoning online. Snapchat, Twitch, Shopify, email providers and payment processors, among others, have all cut ties with Trump or his campaign. And after years of resisting calls to do so, both Facebook and Twitter have suspended Trump’s accounts.”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Is Developing A Tool To Summarize Articles So You Don’t Have To Read Them

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Is Developing A Tool To Summarize Articles So You Don’t Have To Read Them. “In recent weeks, departing Facebook employees have pushed back on the idea that AI could cure the company’s content moderation problems. While Facebook employs thousands of third-party human moderators, it’s made it clear that AI is how it plans to patrol its platform in the future, an idea that concerns workers.”