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3 - The Internet’s Abuse Problem

from Part I - A Lawless Internet

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2019

Nicolas P. Suzor
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology School of Law and Digital Media Research Centre
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Summary

The rules that different internet companies put in place about what content they allow are complicated and often controversial. All types of intermediaries are coming under pressure from many different directions to change their rules in different and often conflicting ways. Nowhere is this more visible than in the growing attention to the abuse, harassment, and hatred that has become so commonplace on the internet. Over the past decade, sustained media attention has driven a recognition that the rules and technical design of the internet’s social spaces have enabled hatred to flourish in a way that is harmful to individuals and to the quality of our shared media and debates. Internet companies are under a great deal of pressure to do more to limit abuse and to ensure that vulnerable people are not exposed to harm or driven off and silenced. Making real change, though, requires not only difficult debates about where to draw the lines, but also a rethinking and retrofitting of the core assumptions built into many of the services that enable us to communicate online. In this chapter, we will address how society is turning to internet intermediaries to help tackle the abuse problem and why this is such a complicated problem to address.

Type
Chapter
Information
Lawless
The Secret Rules That Govern Our Digital Lives
, pp. 25 - 42
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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