Wartime moderation woes

Social media platforms must do more to ensure people in crisis zones have access to crucial information, a group of two dozen civil society groups argue in an open letter published Wednesday.


The letter focuses on how companies have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, faulting platforms for failing to listen to local organizations since Moscow’s 2014 incursion into the neighboring country about how to handle Russian cases of mis- and disinformation.


Once the conflict kicked off in earnest, however, the letter argues social media platforms took “extraordinary” steps with Ukraine that they have been unwilling to deploy in other conflict zones.


“As a global community of civil society actors, we do not demand a one-size-fits-all approach to responding to human rights crises,” the groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now and Digital Security Lab Ukraine, said.


“What we are asking platforms to do is to invest more time and effort in improving their operations now, not when unfolding violence gets into the media spotlight and it is often already too late to act.”