Navigating the Tech Stack: When, Where and How Should We Moderate Content?

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a gunman opened fire in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and wounding 27 before he was taken into custody by police. As news of the attack spread, so did a white supremacist manifesto, allegedly written by the shooter and uploaded hours before the shooting to an anonymous forum, 8chan (Harwell 2019b).

This document was archived and reproduced, amplified on other message boards and social media, and eventually reported in the press. This was the third mass shooting linked to the extremist haven 8chan in six months, and followed the same pattern as the synagogue shooting in Poway, California, in April and the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shootings in March: post a racist screed to 8chan; attack a targeted population; and influence national debates about race and nation.

What will it take to break this circuit, where white supremacists see that violence is rewarded with amplification and infamy? While the answer is not straightforward, there are technical and ethical actions available.

To continue reading this Centre for International Governance Innovation post by Joan Donavan, go to:

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