In 2018, a group of academics and free expression advocates convened in Santa Clara, California, for a workshop. They emerged with the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation—a high level list of procedural steps that social media companies should take when making decisions about the content on their services. The principles quickly became influential, earning the endorsement of a number of major technology companies like Facebook.
Three years later, a second, more detailed edition of the principles has just been released—the product of a broader consultation process. So what’s changed? This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. At EFF, he’s been centrally involved in the creation of version 2.0 of the principles. They talked about what motivated the effort to put together a new edition and what role he sees the principles playing in the conversation around content moderation. And they discussed amicus briefs that EFF has filed in the ongoing litigation over social media regulation laws passed by Texas and Florida.