This 2016 article on content moderation on social media platforms
provides a historical overview of the development of moderation
practices, and how this probably continues to shape the future of free
“The details of moderation practices are routinely hidden from public
view, siloed within companies and treated as trade secrets when it
comes to users and the public.
The moderators of these platforms — perched uneasily at the
intersection of corporate profits, social responsibility, and human
rights — have a powerful impact on free speech, government dissent,
the shaping of social norms, user safety, and the meaning of privacy.
What flagged content should be removed? Who decides what stays and
why? What constitutes newsworthiness? Threat? Harm? When should law
enforcement be involved?”