The Bridge: Social media platforms are losing their right to moderate content following a ruling from a Texas court. Similar rules are trickling in from other states – is this the death of the internet, or the birth of a new online era? Will our kids be negatively affected by less moderation?
The Golden Age is Over 🤠
Years ago, when the @ was “the A with the ring around it” and questions like “what is internet, anyway?” were common, online moderation was a relatively easy task. Web traffic was low, users seemed to enter with a spirit of discovery and helpfulness, and people happily took up the unpaid/underappreciated role of “moderator.”
The primary focus of these mods was to ensure everyone played nice, and that nothing illegal or dangerous was being disseminated online. ⚠️
As the internet grew (and the number of people on it did, too) this task became more challenging.
Now, platforms that host over 50 million users per month are being held to a legal standard out of Texas court. These platforms cannot moderate their content anymore – unless the posts are calls for violence, child exploitation, or other illegal caveats.
And some people are pissed 🤬
Hands Off my Platform
The issue is complicated and understandably sensitive. Some believe that the government shouldn’t be meddling in private companies’ affairs, and others worry that their 1st Amendment rights are being unjustly violated when they’re censored from posting legal content online.
For now, the reality is that Big Tech is scrambling to come up with a solution that will appease all sides while the legal battle picks up. This means that kids online today are potentially going to be seeing a very different landscape from the one we all saw as the internet took off.
We’re edging back toward the wild west – and we’ll know more about the evolving space as the months go on. Until then, now’s a good time to keep an eye on the situation, and to have a talk with your younger ‘net users about what it means to be responsible and aware online.