Communication Law and Ethics Assignment, SU, Malaysia choose one (1) social media platform (for example, Meta, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Google, etc.). Examine their content moderation policies

University Sunway University (SU)
Subject Communication Law and Ethics

According to a Pew Research Centre survey conducted between 26 July and 8 August 2021, almost half (48%) of the adult population in the United States said that they “often” or “sometimes” obtain news from social media, while the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2021 found that Facebook and Twitter are the main platforms. Social media platforms are public spaces that nurture democratic civic space for civil public conversations and further substantive policy discussions and debates.

Nevertheless, there are growing criticisms that big tech companies have failed to stop the pervasive distribution of fake news, as well as unfettered expressions of harmful content such as hate speech and terrorism. Given the increasingly influential role that social media plays in shaping public discourse, there is an urgent need to address such issues before they damage the fabric of society.

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Despite the common notion that social media platforms serve as digital public squares, in reality, they are private commercial entities that merely host content generated by others. When people sign up as members of a social media platform, they are governed by its stipulated terms and conditions. As these tech giants can moderate or censor as they see fit, it is important to understand how they formulate and implement their content moderation policies across various jurisdictions as well as regulate sensitive and controversial topics while balancing different moral, ethical, and cultural standards as well as legal obligations.

Examine how these online platforms balance their social responsibilities and
commitment to human rights vis-à-vis their commercial interests. What is your opinion on their decisions to moderate/censor content or ban users from their platforms?

In your assignment, choose one (1) social media platform (for example, Meta, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Google, etc.). Examine their content moderation policies and discuss whether these policies have been effective and appropriate.

You may choose to focus on one (1) particular issue, for example, fake news,
information on the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber-bullying, terrorism, etc. and discuss how the tech giant of your choice has dealt with this issue through its content moderation policies.

Your research paper should cover the following areas: –

A. Introduction

• Overview of the development of social media platforms and their links to
freedom of speech and expression.
• Explain what content moderation is and why has it become an essential part of social media platforms.
• Choose a social media platform and explain why you wish to examine its
content moderation policies.

B. Body of Paper

• Overview of the content moderation policies of your chosen social media
platform.
• Discuss one key content moderation issue that has emerged on the platform.
• Analyse whether the platform’s content moderation policy is appropriate and
whether its enforcement has been effective in dealing with the issue.
• Your discussion should contain at least one example of the issue being
discussed.

C. Conclusion

• State your stance on whether content moderation on the social media platform has been justifiably used to address the problem that results from the emergence of that issue.
• Your conclusion must be supported by logical evidence and reasoning based
on your above discussion and analysis.
• Avoid summarising all the points already mentioned earlier. Highlight only
important point(s) if you want to repeat key information.

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