The Bipartisan Case for Labeling as a Content Moderation Method: Findings from a National Survey

53 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2021

See all articles by John Wihbey

John Wihbey

Northeastern University

Garrett Morrow

Northeastern University Ethics Institute; Northeastern University - College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Myojung Chung

Northeastern University - College of Arts, Media, and Design

Mike Peacey

Northeastern University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 14, 2021

Abstract

Social media companies have increasingly been using labeling strategies to identify, highlight, and mark content that may be problematic in some way but not sufficiently violating to justify removing it. Such labeling strategies, which are now being used by most major social platforms, present a host of new challenges and questions. This report, based on a national survey conducted in the U.S. in summer 2021 (N = 1,464), provides new insights into public preferences around social media company policy and interventions in the media environment. It is often assumed that there are highly polarized views about content moderation. However, we find relatively strong, bipartisan support for the basic strategy and general goals of labeling.

Keywords: social media, communications policy, fact checking, digital platforms, law and technology

Suggested Citation

Wihbey, John and Morrow, Garrett and Chung, Myojung and Peacey, Mike, The Bipartisan Case for Labeling as a Content Moderation Method: Findings from a National Survey (September 14, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3923905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3923905

John Wihbey

Northeastern University ( email )

School of Journalism; Ethics Institute
School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Boston, MA Massachusetts 02115
United States

Garrett Morrow (Contact Author)

Northeastern University Ethics Institute ( email )

220 B RP
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Northeastern University - College of Social Sciences and Humanities ( email )

360 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Myojung Chung

Northeastern University - College of Arts, Media, and Design ( email )

360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Mike Peacey

Northeastern University - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Lake Hall
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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