Mozilla Festival 2021 (March 8th – 19th, 2021)

Shadowbans, nudity, censorship and moderation: how can we effectively moderate social media content without affecting freedom of speech?
2021-03-08, 18:00–19:00, Zoom Room 8B

In this session, I will draw from my academic research on online abuse, conspiracy theories and content moderation and from my activism around Instagram censorship of nudity. I will start by telling my story - from receiving an apology from Instagram about censoring pole dance in 2019, to launching the #EveryBODYVisible global anti-censorship campaign on the platform. Considering that, particularly in a global pandemic, online visibility is essential for workers, creators and marginalised communities, I hope to start the conversation on the visibility of bodies and on what audiences consider acceptable online content.

How will you deal with varying numbers of participants in your session?

If the session results in a big turnaround, I will split participants in break-out groups, asking a "reporter" to refer back their talking points to the conversation. If the session results in a smaller turn-around, I can have a more intimate discussion with participants, focusing on their experiences and thoughts on moderation and on how these match or differ from mine.

I'm a visiting lecturer trying to speak to undergrads about criminology - and sometimes only one person shows up to class! So I'm used to this.

What is the goal and/or outcome of your session?

Hearing from different communities and backgrounds about their experiences of and thoughts on censorship, to "get out of my bubble" and match opinions on the moderation of content by different subcultures with other users' views.

We're hoping that many efforts and discussions will continue after Mozfest. Share any ideas you already have for how to continue the work from your session.

1) Creating a wider network of social media activists, creators, researchers and social media workers to inform content moderation.
2) Write blog posts and research papers as a result of the interactions during MozFest.
3) Create social media content from the MozFest session.

Carolina Are, aka Blogger On Pole, is a London-based, Italian researcher, blogger, activist, and pole dance instructor. She studies online abuse, conspiracy theories and algorithmic moderation of nudity.