Engadget: YouTube introduces new tools to battle comment spam and account imitators

Engadget: YouTube introduces new tools to battle comment spam and account imitators. “YouTube is enacting more measures in its battle to cut down on comment spam and channel impersonation. Creators now have access to a new setting for comments in YouTube Studio. They’ll be able to select an ‘increase strictness’ option. YouTube says this builds on the ‘hold potentially inappropriate comments for review’ setting and will reduce the number of spam and identity abuse comments.”

CNN: ‘Watchdog moms’ on TikTok are trying to keep minors safe

CNN: ‘Watchdog moms’ on TikTok are trying to keep minors safe. “Seara Adair, a mother of two young daughters from Atlanta, revealed in a TikTok video last year that she was sexually abused by a family member as a child. In the next few weeks, her follower count grew by tens of thousands, many of whom appeared to be minors. After that, she started using the popular short-form video app to educate her followers about various digital dangers. She posted about the risks of being approached by strangers online and the problematic content found hidden in the deep corners of TikTok and other platforms.”

Digital Trends: Discord’s new content moderation tool will automatically block words and phrases

Digital Trends: Discord’s new content moderation tool will automatically block words and phrases. “In an effort to help its own moderators out, Discord has developed a new automated content moderation tool. Content moderation can be an exhausting, burnout-inducing task that requires community moderators to view upsetting content and then decide how best to handle such content and the user who posted it. Discord’s new tool, called AutoMod, is meant to help with that task.”

Associated Press: Facebook fails again to detect hate speech in ads

Associated Press: Facebook fails again to detect hate speech in ads. “[Global Witness] created 12 text-based ads that used dehumanizing hate speech to call for the murder of people belonging to each of Ethiopia’s three main ethnic groups — the Amhara, the Oromo and the Tigrayans. Facebook’s systems approved the ads for publication, just as they did with the Myanmar ads. The ads were not actually published on Facebook.”

Northwestern Now: Unpaid social media moderators perform labor worth $3.4 million a year on Reddit alone

Northwestern Now: Unpaid social media moderators perform labor worth $3.4 million a year on Reddit alone. “The social networking platform Reddit relies on volunteer moderators to prevent the site from being overrun by problematic content—including hate speech—and ensure that it remains appealing for users. Though uncompensated, this labor is highly valuable to the company: According to a pair of new studies led by Northwestern University computer scientists, it’s worth at minimum $3.4 million per year, which is equivalent to 2.8% of Reddit’s 2019 revenue.”

The Canadian Press: Glut of social media posts, political divisiveness a challenge for content moderators

The Canadian Press: Glut of social media posts, political divisiveness a challenge for content moderators. “Leigh Adams has seen a steady rise of material for review since she began moderating user comments on websites roughly 14 years ago, but she says the volume only exploded in the last few years as the content’s nature became so divisive there’s only one word for it: ‘Bonkers.’ Misinformation, trolling and worse has always existed online, but Adams says she saw a shift after the U.S. elected Donald Trump president in 2016 that reached a new height when George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed in police custody in May 2020, fuelling racial tensions just as the world was locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

WBUR: Extremists exploit gaming networks and social media to recruit and radicalize

WBUR: Extremists exploit gaming networks and social media to recruit and radicalize. “Alex Newhouse, deputy director at the Middlebury Institute Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, points out that the violence is not linked to the games themselves…. The problem, he says, is that the last two decades made it clear that games are social networks, not just content. With video games and the internet come platforms built to facilitate social interaction and relationships.”

MakeUseOf: What It’s Actually Like to Be a Reddit Moderator

MakeUseOf: What It’s Actually Like to Be a Reddit Moderator. “When you think of Reddit, you might picture a website full of memes and funny videos. But there’s a lot more to Reddit than meets the eye. In fact, Reddit is one of the most popular websites in the world, with millions of users and billions of page views every month. And behind the scenes of every subreddit, there are moderators. These are the people who keep the subreddit running smoothly and make sure that the content is up to snuff. So what’s it actually like to be a Reddit moderator?”

Brookings Institution: How Elon Musk might shift Twitter content moderation

Brookings Institution: How Elon Musk might shift Twitter content moderation. “Of course, certain speech is unlawful, and increasingly social media companies will be expected to keep their systems free of illegal material. The UK and the EU create new liability regimes for illegal speech in their pending legislation, and Musk has promised to comply with these legal requirements. But most of the hate speech, misinformation, and racist invective on social media are legal both here in the U.S. and in Europe. Musk will have to abide by the new EU and UK laws that relate to harmful but legal speech; that will mean more risk assessments, transparency reports, audits, access to data for researchers, publication of content moderation standards, and due process requirements.”

The Guardian: Facebook ‘lacks willpower’ to tackle misinformation in Africa

The Guardian: Facebook ‘lacks willpower’ to tackle misinformation in Africa. “Facebook has been accused of failing to invest sufficiently to combat misinformation as it pursues rapid growth in Africa, where the Covid pandemic has highlighted the outsize role played by social media in online discourse. Traditional media and governments have an increasingly limited ability to control information flows on the continent, as social media platforms including Facebook seek to expand rapidly, though largely without fanfare.”

Coda: How Silicon Valley is helping Putin and other tyrants win the information war

Coda: How Silicon Valley is helping Putin and other tyrants win the information war. “From Afghanistan to Ukraine, and much of the rest of the non-English speaking world, journalists are losing their voice. Not only because of the increasingly oppressive governments that target them, but also because policies created in Silicon Valley are helping oppressors of free speech peddle disinformation.”

International Business Times: How Meta Fumbled Propaganda Moderation During Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

International Business Times: How Meta Fumbled Propaganda Moderation During Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine. “Days after the March 9 bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, comments claiming the attack never happened began flooding the queues of workers moderating Facebook and Instagram content on behalf of the apps’ owner, Meta Platforms…. Online expressions of support for the mother-to-be quickly turned to attacks on her Instagram account, according to two contractors directly moderating content from the conflict on Facebook and Instagram.”

Techdirt: State Legislators Are Demanding Websites Moderate Less AND Moderate More; Federal Law Prohibits Both

Techdirt: State Legislators Are Demanding Websites Moderate Less AND Moderate More; Federal Law Prohibits Both. “Local politicians across the political spectrum are trying to force websites to moderate their content in a manner the politicians want. Some (mainly Democrats) are trying to push for companies to remove more content. Some (mainly Republicans) are pushing companies to stop removing certain kinds of content. In both cases, trying to force specific editorial stances — either hands on or hands off — raises serious Constitutional issues.”