CLBR #321: A Look Inside Social Media Content Moderation with Tarleton Gillespie

A Look Inside Social Media Content Moderation
with Tarleton Gillespie

Author of Custodians of the Internet:
Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media

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Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and other social media platforms making news recently for users or activities they have banned, this makes Tarleton Gillespie’s Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media very timely.

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From the Publisher: Gillespie explains that his book I have been writing about the impact of platforms and the digital transformation for fifteen years,” said Gillespie. “This book explains how content moderation works: how the platforms think of their responsibilities, the way they create and articulate the rules, the labor behind the scenes, and recent efforts to automate it all.” Based on interviews with content moderators, creators, and consumers, this book contributes to the current debates about the public responsibilities of platforms, be it about harassment, data privacy, or political propaganda.

Gillespie argues that content moderation still receives too little public scrutiny. How and why platforms moderate can shape societal norms and alter the contours of public discourse, cultural production, and the fabric of society.

Truly stellar. Gillespie’s analysis deftly contextualizes moderation policies on social media platforms, and illuminates how the platforms’ underlying values are baked into these policies. The result is essential reading.— Whitney M. Phillips, author of This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture

img_2740Tarleton Gillespie


Website  / @TarletonG

Tarleton Gillespie is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New England, part of the Social Media Collective research group. He is an affiliated associate professor at Cornell University, in the Department of Communication and the Department of Information Science. He co-founded the blog Culture Digitally.

He is the author of Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture (MIT, 2007), the co-editor of Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society (MIT, 2014); his newest book is Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media (Yale, 2018).

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