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Fighting Misinformation with Content Moderation

I like the Washington Posts moniker, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” It has been reporting on misinformation for some time. An early November article (Nov 7 2020) followed up on the all the reports about what Facebook and YouTube were doing about the election cycle. But WP reports that election info was much more widespread, even coming to sites of more limited focus and not normally political in nature. The article by Zakrewski and Lerman, “No Social Media is Safe…” exposes the specific nature of posts on sites like Nextdoor, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

What these social media sites do are to equip themselves with editors and software to stop the spread. The “content moderation” activity red flags certain ideas and terms for blocks, review, and elimination. In this election cycle it was phrases like: “stolen ballots,” “steal the election,” “fraudulent vote counting,” and the like. Various conspiracy theories were identified and tracked.

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