January 25, 2022
Assessing the Impact of the Widespread Adoption of Algorithm-backed Content Moderation in Social Media
The use of algorithm-backed content moderation systems by social media platforms has drawn increasing skepticism in recent years, as some are concerned these platforms are responsible for erosion of users’ privacy, and other harms. In a new insight, Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Juan Londoño assesses the overall impact of algorithms in social media, and the failings of Congress’s attempt to regulate their use.
- While algorithm-backed content moderation technology has grown more sophisticated since its inception, its shortcomings have become more evident to users and critics: It is vulnerable to exploitation, it lacks a comprehension of context, and it relies heavily on a platform’s good judgment.
- Despite these shortcomings, algorithms have provided users with a better web experience, allowing platforms with large userbases to present well formatted, relevant content to their users on a relatively consistent basis.
- Congress’ initiatives to regulate algorithm use often fail to consider the benefits of algorithmic content moderation and could unintentionally make users worse off.