Originally Appeared: The Wall Street Journal on May 7, 2018
Mark Epstein’s “How To Keep Online Speech Free” (op-ed, April 30) highlights many of the tensions internet companies face in balancing the demands of creating safe online communities and protecting their users’ constitutional rights. What one person may consider abusive or hateful content could be speech protected under the First Amendment.
All the while tech companies are stuck in the middle and use a mix of artificial intelligence and human review to get it right. Tech companies are expected, fairly, to police a lot of content and, unfairly, to be perfect at it in the eyes of all audiences. Tech companies want to get it right and that’s why they’re taking additional steps to be transparent about the guidelines, community standards and enforcement policies they consider when the public asks for content to be removed or left untouched. These are admittedly tough decisions that sometimes vary based on the social norms in any community or given country.