Netconf 2020 edition

Netconf 2020 edition

An unconference on the technical, economic and social aspects of network engineering and infrastructure

Divij Joshi

Resist the Robo-Censors!

Submitted Mar 8, 2020

Algorithmic content moderation tools are increasingly being embedded within online platforms in order to censor, filter, flag, promote or deter certain forms of information. The rise of predictive methods within ‘artificial intelligence’ or machine learning are increasingly being relied upon as robust mechanisms to ensure online content governance, often through legal instruments, including in the EU and in India. However, these technologies are likely to compound the opaque and unaccountable nature of speech governance by platforms, implicating both online freedom of expression as well as online privacy. This talk will address the challenges that the rise of algorithmic content moderation poses to online speech, and how legal and institutional governance can address these harms.


My session will proceed as follows:

  1. An overview of online content moderation practices and the legal and institutional logics of online speech governance.
  2. An overview of technologies and techniques employing algorithmic content moderation.
  3. The legitimisation and legislation of algorithmic cenroship - the case of the EU Copyright Directive and the (draft) Indian Intermediary Guidelines.
  4. Tech won’t save us - the perils of AI in regulating speech.
  5. Recentering due process and institutional governance in online speech regulation.

Speaker bio

I am an independent lawyer and legal researcher, with an interest in the interface of public law, civil liberties and technology. I am presently a Mozilla Fellow working on public interest technology policy, particularly in the realm of AI and automated decision making. I also contribute to the SpicyIP blog.


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