April 23, 2021

De-Platforming Following Capitol Insurrection Highlights Global Inequities in Content Moderation

The de-platforming of President Donald Trump and the associated purge of white supremacist social media accounts has spurred news coverage heralding the “unprecedented” nature of the bans that companies, including Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, have put in place. Such claims stem from a United States-centric perspective. On a global scale such de-platforming is commonplace. Still, the attention being paid to these recent American bans provides a useful opportunity to highlight the insights already gained in communities where State actors and others have (or, despite calls for the measure, have not) had their accounts suspended or deleted for incitement to violence.

In the following piece, I focus on two insights in particular: de-platforming as a window on the unequally distributed power and embedded assumptions that determine what content gets to stay online, and de-platforming as policy failure. Read the article here.

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