“Elon Musk’s deal to take Twitter private, which has spurred questions about power, censorship and safety for the future of the platform, happened just days after the European Union reached a landmark agreement to make social media less toxic for users. The new E.U. standards, and the ethic of transparency on which they are based, will for the first time pull back the curtain on the algorithms that choose what we see and when we see it in our feeds.
In Europe’s case, the dryly named Digital Services Act is the most significant piece of social media legislation in history. It goes to the heart of what I’ve tried to do as a whistle-blower who worked inside Facebook: make social media far better without impinging on free speech. Today, Facebook’s poorly implemented content moderation strategies leave those most at risk of real world violence unprotected and only consistently succeed at one thing: angering everyone.
Last October, I came forward a with a simple message: Facebook knew it was cutting corners to make more money, and the public was paying the price. In over 20,000 pages of documents that I disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to Congress, the public learned what Facebook already knew — its products were spurring hate and division, leading teenagers into rabbit holes of self-harm and anorexia, leaving millions of users without basic safety systems for hate speech or violence incitement and, at times, were even used to sell humans across the platform.”