Today (Wednesday 6th July 2022), I’ve presented a provoking (not sure whether thought-provoking) paper called “Should teachers use sex as a remedy to unfair content moderation practices?” at the most fun conference of all i.e. Gikii, in its Icelandic edition.
In May 2022, OnlyFans creator Kitty Lixo revealed how she dealt with the allegedly unjustified deletion of her Instagram account. She tracked down some Facebook employees, slept with them, and her account was promptly reinstated.
A current trend in internet regulation is delegate to private companies the decisions as to who and what is acceptable online. The Online Safety Bill, the Digital Services Act (DSA), and the Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM) are only the best known examples of this.
This paper presents empirical data about content moderation in distance learning platforms and asks: what happens if a teacher spends months to put together entire courses and Zoom, Teams, etc. decide to take down the content or even disable the account? Is having sex with the relevant platform’s employees the only remedy we have?
My suggestions are:
(1) a horizontal right to genuine human review (building on DSA, CDSM, but also GDPR Art. 22, the debate about the human in the loop in the field of lethal autonomous weapons, and the mostly overlooked recent proposal for a Distance Financial Contracts Directive);
(2) a killswitch obligation for platforms/providers of automated moderation tech to disable the tech and allow humans to prevail over technological management.
You can watch the recording of the presentation here