The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) & Visualizing Impact have launched Onlinecensorship.org, a new platform to document the who, what, & why of Content takedowns on social media Sites.
The project, made possible by a 2014 Knight News Challenge award, will address how social media Sites moderate user-generated Content & how free expression is affected across the globe. The EFF is a non-profit org protecting civil liberties.
At Onlinecensorship.org, users themselves can report on Content takedowns from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, & YouTube. By cataloging & analyzing aggregated cases of social media censorship, Onlinecensorship.org seeks to unveil trends in Content removals, provide insight into the types of Content being taken down, & learn how these takedowns impact different communities of users.
In a press statement, EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression and co-founder of Onlinecensorship.org Jillian C. York, said, “We want to know how social media companies enforce their terms of service. The data we collect will allow us to raise public awareness about the ways these companies are regulating speech.”
York and Onlinecensorship.org co-founder Ramzi Jaber were inspired to action after a Facebook post in support of OneWorld’s “Freedom for Palestine” project disappeared from the band Coldplay’s page even though it had received nearly 7,000 largely supportive comments. It later became clear that Facebook took down the post after it was reported as “abusive” by several users.
Onlinecensorship.org has other tools for social media users, including a guide to the often-complex appeals process to fight a Content takedown. It will also host a collection of news reports on Content moderation practices.
Image Credit: EFF