Radiolab from WNYC: Post No Evil
August 27, 2018 3:51 PM - Subscribe

Back in 2008 Facebook began writing a document. It was a constitution of sorts, laying out what could and what couldn't be posted on the site. Back then, the rules were simple, outlawing nudity and gore. Today, they're anything but.  How do you define hate speech? Where's the line between a joke and an attack? How much butt is too much butt? Facebook has answered these questions. And from these answers they've written a rulebook that all 2.2 billion of us are expected to follow. Today, we explore that rulebook. We dive into its details and untangle its logic. All the while wondering what does this mean for the future of free speech? This episode was reported by Simon Adler with help from Tracie Hunte and was produced by Simon Adler with help from Bethel Habte. Special thanks to Sarah Roberts, Jeffrey Rosen, Carolyn Glanville, Ruchika Budhraja, Brian Dogan, Ellen Silver, James Mitchell, Guy Rosen, and our voice actor Michael Chernus. Support Radiolab today at
posted by ruben (1 comment total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was a deeply reported episode that explored the truly challenging aspects of moderating content, and I liked and appreciated many aspects of it. It was funny and scary and thoughtful. But I was so enraged by the closing sentence that I almost wrote them a complaint letter. I just double checked the transcript to be sure, and they said, in reference to Facebook leadership, "I think we should all be rooting for them."

What the heck? Look, if you're going to just do an investigative piece, than yeah, show how hard it is to moderate complex issues. But if you're going to take a side, I am so appalled they chose the side of Facebook.

I mean, they basically conclude that facebook is just too big and complicated to moderate, but isn't it great that they're trying. Sure they share how traumatizing being a human moderator at facebook is, but if anything that seems to suggest human moderation is the wrong direction. But never does anyone question if a social network the size of facebook should even exist? I mean, if the company has grown so big they can't moderate their most offensive, threatening, or dangerous content, then they are too big. Radiolab represents the modern liberal worldview in many ways, apparently including the ideology that big companies shouldn't be held accountable for their actions.

Feh, I left this episode mad.
posted by latkes at 9:09 PM on September 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

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