UCLA IS Presents Conference on “All Things in Moderation”

These days, social media doesn’t just spread the news, often it is the news. From Russian efforts to influence the recent U.S. presidential election, to the spread of hate and violent, racist imagery, the rise of social media and the challenge of moderating what many deem as offensive, false and even criminal online content is making global headlines and generating public concern.

Sarah T. Roberts, assistant professor of Information Studies at UCLA. Photo by Todd Cheney, UCLA

On December 6 & 7 at UCLA, academic researchers, journalists, industry representatives and others will gather to consider the challenges and implications of commercial content moderation at “All Things in Moderation,” a symposium exploring the people, practices and politics of online content review. Participants will explore the social, technical, legal and policy aspects of content moderation while delving into such issues as labor practices, human rights and freedom of speech. The symposium includes presentations by academic experts and journalists who cover the issues, as well as by former workers from the front lines of content moderation efforts. David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, will serve as the opening keynote speaker.

The symposium is chaired by Sarah T. Roberts, an assistant professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  Robert’s work has shined an intense and public light on the practices of content moderation, making clear that much of the gatekeeping of objectionable content is not performed automatically by artificial intelligence or algorithms, but often by poorly paid human beings at risk of burnout, desensitization and worse, due to the nature of the work. Professor Roberts’ work on the issue has been featured in such publications as The Atlantic and Rolling Stone, and she has provided insight and comment on stories related to commercial content moderation for dozens of news organizations across the globe.

Additional information regarding the All Things in Moderation symposium can be found at this link.

From the Knowledge That Matters website