Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Bringing in the Content Moderation Auditors

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, June 2, 2022, 5:01 AM

As transparency reporting about content moderation enforcement has become standard across the platform industry, there's been growing questions about the reliability and accuracy of the reports the platforms are producing. With all reporting being entirely voluntary and the content moderation industry in general being very opaque, it’s hard to know how much to trust the figures that companies report in their quarterly or biannual enforcement reports. As a result, there's been growing calls for independent audits of these figures, and last month, Meta released its first ever independent audit of its content moderation reporting systems.

This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek sat down with someone who actually knows something about auditing: Colleen Honigsberg, an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, whose research is focused on the empirical study of corporate and securities law. They talked about how auditors work, the promises and pitfalls of auditing in other contexts and what that might teach us for auditing in the content moderation context, and whether this is going to be a useful regulatory tool.