EFF Pioneer Award 2018

I am honored to announce that I am a recipient of a 2018 Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, based on my research to  unveil the people and practices of commercial content moderation. I am deeply honored by this recognition, which came as a complete surprise, and honored to be sharing the 2018 award… Continue reading EFF Pioneer Award 2018

Forty Years of Dr. Linda C. Smith – A Tribute to Her Living Legacy

The following was written to be included in a memory book offered to Dr. Linda C. Smith on the occasion of her 40th anniversary at the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (formerly known as the Graduate School of Library and Information Science). She received her memory book at a recent faculty… Continue reading Forty Years of Dr. Linda C. Smith – A Tribute to Her Living Legacy

No, YouTube is not a library – and why it matters

Last week, en route to deliver a keynote at the 11th annual #libtech2018 conference at Macalester College, I came across a tweet reporting out on YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki's remarks at sxsw, as transcribed by a Twitter user. Among other things, she claimed that a great model for describing what YouTube is is, in fact,… Continue reading No, YouTube is not a library – and why it matters

Researching ICT Companies: A Field Guide for Civil Society Researchers (and everyone else!)

Interested in how to research ICTs, but finding it daunting? Nathalie Maréchal, of USC Annenberg and Ranking Digital Rights and I wrote this handy guide, with support from the Internet Policy Observatory - a fancy PDF version is now available! tl;dr: you don’t have to have insider status (and it may even be preferable not… Continue reading Researching ICT Companies: A Field Guide for Civil Society Researchers (and everyone else!)

New article: Digital detritus: ‘Error’ and the logic of opacity in social media content moderation

Announcing a new article on the politics of commercial content moderation: Digital detritus: 'Error' and the logic of opacity in social media content moderation. This article is part of a special issue of First Monday devoted to gender and digital labor, edited by Carolyn Elerding, Roopika Risam and Radhika Gajjala. The issue also features contributions from… Continue reading New article: Digital detritus: ‘Error’ and the logic of opacity in social media content moderation

Announcing “All Things in Moderation,” Dec. 6-7, 2017 at UCLA

It’s my great pleasure to announce the following event and related CFP. On December 6-7 2017, UCLA’s Department of Information Studies, part of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, welcomes participants to a two-day conference on commercial content moderation (CCM) of user-generated social media material. At All Things in Moderation: The People,… Continue reading Announcing “All Things in Moderation,” Dec. 6-7, 2017 at UCLA

PRI Science Friday: The Invisible Humans Who Sanitize the Internet

On Friday, March 10, I appeared on PRI's Science Friday program to discuss commercial content moderation (CCM). Along with me was Rochelle LaPlante, who has been working on CCM via microlabor platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk for over 10 years. Of particular interest was a caller who dialed in from Iowa to talk about his… Continue reading PRI Science Friday: The Invisible Humans Who Sanitize the Internet

CCM in the Atlantic connects phenomenon to key questions of democracy

I'm pleased to report that, after many, many months in the works, my article on commercial content moderation has appeared in the Atlantic today. The story has taken many forms over the past few months of work on it, and has undergone necessary evolutions in response to rapid developments in social media-related conversations, and public pushback… Continue reading CCM in the Atlantic connects phenomenon to key questions of democracy

What is content moderation? What is CCM?

I am frequently contacted by press and by colleagues who ask me to define commercial content moderation, or CCM. In order to do so, it is also necessary to discuss social media content moderation, more generally - all of which leads to a need to historicize these practices in the larger history of the Internet.… Continue reading What is content moderation? What is CCM?