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The challenges of responding to misinformation during a pandemic: content moderation and the limitations of the concept of harm

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journal contribution
posted on 21.01.2021, 23:12 by SA Baker, Matthew WadeMatthew Wade, MJ Walsh
© The Author(s) 2020. Social media have been central in informing people about the COVID-19 pandemic. They influence the ways in which information is perceived, communicated and shared online, especially with physical distancing measures in place. While these technologies have given people the opportunity to contribute to public discussions about COVID-19, the narratives disseminated on social media have also been characterised by uncertainty, disagreement, false and misleading advice. Global technology companies have responded to these concerns by introducing new content moderation policies based on the concept of harm to tackle the spread of misinformation and disinformation online. In this essay, we examine some of the key challenges in implementing these policies in real time and at scale, calling for more transparent and nuanced content moderation strategies to increase public trust and the quality of information about the pandemic consumed online.

History

Publication Date

01/11/2020

Journal

Media International Australia

Volume

177

Issue

1

Pagination

5p. (p. 103-107)

Publisher

SAGE Publications Ltd

ISSN

1329-878X

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.