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How Social Media Firms Moderate Their Content

Knowledge@Wharton: “Content moderation is a delicate balancing act for social media platforms trying to grow their user base. Larger platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which make most of their profits from advertising, can’t afford to lose eyeballs or engagement on their sites. Yet they are under tremendous public and political pressure to stop disinformation and remove harmful content. Meanwhile, smaller platforms that cater to particular ideologies would rather let free speech reign. In their forthcoming paper, titled “Implications of Revenue Models and Technology for Content Moderation Strategies,” Wharton marketing professors Pinar Yildirim and Z. John Zhang, and Wharton doctoral candidate Yi Liu show how a social media firm’s content moderation strategy is influenced mostly by its revenue model. A platform under advertising is more likely to moderate its content than one under subscription, but it moderates less aggressively than the latter when it does. In the following essay, the authors discuss their research and its implications for policymakers who want to regulate social media platforms…” [h/t Marcus Zillman]

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