Social Media

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Cybersecurity

Australia’s New Social Media Law Is a Mess

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on March 30 that the internet could use more regulation of “harmful content,” maybe he should have been more specific. Less than a week after Zuckerberg’s statement, Australia’s Parliament passed the Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Act 2019, with no public or expert consultation.

Facebook

Facebook’s ‘Draft Charter’ for Content Moderation: Vague, But Promising

The Charter of the United Nations begins by listing a number of lofty goals, including, “We the peoples of the United Nations [have] determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.” This echoes the more famous and similarly aspirational preamble to the U.S.

Cyber & Technology

Social Media Content Moderation: The German Regulation Debate

Over the past year, lawmakers from Brussels to Washington have discussed whether and how to regulate social media platforms. In Germany, a central question has been whether such platforms—which Germans call social network providers (SNPs)—should be held liable if they fail to delete or remove illegal content.

Facebook

Facebook’s Role in the Genocide in Myanmar: New Reporting Complicates the Narrative

Members of the Myanmar military have systematically used Facebook as a tool in the government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, according to an incredible piece of reporting by the New York Times on Oct. 15. The Times writes that the military harnessed Facebook over a period of years to disseminate hate propaganda, false news and inflammatory posts.

Aegis Paper Series

Platform Justice: Content Moderation at an Inflection Point

On Thursday, Sept. 6, Twitter permanently banned the right-wing provocateur Alex Jones and his conspiracy theorist website Infowars from its platform. This was something of the final blow to Jones’s online presence: Facebook, Apple and Youtube, among others, blocked Jones from using their services in early August. Cut off from Twitter as well, he is now severely limited in his ability to spread his conspiracy theories to a mainstream audience.

Foreign Policy Essay

Combating Terrorism Online: Possible Actors and Their Roles

Editor’s Note: Fighting terrorism online is one of those ideas that everyone agrees with in principle but disagrees on in practice. What should be regulated and who should do so are among the many areas of disagreement. Zann Isacson of Georgetown examines the different actors that might play a role, including Congress, technology companies and of course the executive branch, and assesses what each might bring to the table.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Gray Media Under the Black and White Banner

Editor’s Note: Although Internet comments have made great strides in trying to combat extremist content online, they have a long way to go. In particular, much of what jihadists use for propaganda is non-violent or otherwise doesn't neatly fit material that can easily be identified as terrorist-related and removed. Audrey Alexander and Helen Powell of George Washington University's Program on Extremism call for a more holistic approach that goes beyond image takedowns.

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