Open Letter |
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, the importance of technology platforms and their real world impact has never been clearer. The various platforms are being used to communicate, assemble, research the virus, provide mutual aid, and more. This statement notes that many platforms have increased their reliance on automated content moderation during the pandemic, while simultaneously removing misinformation and apparently inaccurate information about COVID-19 at an unprecedented rate.
The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) joined 74 organisations and individuals in signing a letter to technology platforms urging them to
- Immediately commit to preserving all data on content removal during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to information about which takedowns did not receive human review, whether users tried to appeal the takedown (when that information is available), and reports that were not acted upon.
- Preserve all content that the platform is automatically blocking or removing, including individual posts, videos, images, and entire accounts.
- Produce transparency reports that include information about content blocking and removal related to COVID-19
- Provide access to this data in the future to researchers and journalists, recognizing that privacy will need to be ensured.
Find the full coalition letter here.