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Second 2022/2023 Groningen PPE Colloquium

When:We 22-02-2023 15:15 - 16:45
Where:Room Beta (followed by drinks)

Jeffrey Howard (University College London): Policing Platforms: The Ethics of Content Moderation 


This paper sets out a philosophical framework for governing harmful speech on social media. It argues that platforms have an enforceable moral duty to combat various forms of harmful speech through their content moderation systems. It pinpoints several underlying duties that together determine the content and stringency of this responsibility. It then confronts the objection that it is morally impermissible to use automated systems to moderate harmful content, given the propensity of AI to generate false positives and false negatives. After explaining why this objection is not decisive, the paper concludes by sketching some implications for legal regulation.


Jeffrey Howard is associate professor of political theory at University College London. He works on topics in contemporary political philosophy, including freedom of speech, democracy, and criminal punishment.