Colloquium: Yoel Roth

Speaker(s): Yoel Roth

Platform governance in the age of decentralization: The theory, history and future of online content moderation

About the Talk

The regulation and management of social media platforms is a nearly ubiquitous part of public discourse in the United States, Europe, and around the world. But, after more than three decades of contention over the appropriate structures of governance for networked platforms, online safety and security measures remain fragile and largely ad-hoc. As the social media landscape undergoes broad transformation for the first time in over a decade, with an increasing push towards federated and decentralized social media as an alternative to monolithic, corporate-owned platforms, this talk examines the evolution of social media content moderation and trust and safety practices over the last 30 years, and evaluates the ambivalent consequences of social media’s transformation. Drawing on a large-scale textual analysis of platform moderation policies, capabilities, and transparency mechanisms, as well as interviews with developers, administrators, and moderators of federated platforms, we find that federated platforms face considerable obstacles to robust and scalable governance. Addressing these challenges requires a fundamental reconsideration of how safety and security efforts are funded, institutionalized, and integrated into the social web.

About the Speaker

Yoel Roth is the Knight Visiting Scholar at the Center for Media at Risk at the Annenberg School for Communication. Previously, Yoel served as the Head of Trust & Safety at Twitter. For more than 7 years, he led the teams responsible for Twitter’s content moderation, integrity, and platform security efforts, including policy development, threat investigation, product, design, research, and operations. He is also a Technology Policy Fellow at UC Berkeley and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Event details

Annenberg School for Communication | Room 500