“We Must Save Democracy From Conspiracies,” insisted British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in a Time magazine article from Oct. 8, 2020. More specifically Baron Cohen accused Facebook of being “the greatest propaganda machine in history,” due to the platform’s failure to remove disinformation.

Five days later, Baron Cohen complained on Twitter that Facebook had deleted a post sharing his Time article, as it was accompanied by a picture of a man wearing a face mask with the caption “COVID-19 is a hoax.” Baron Cohen’s double condemnation of Facebook for not removing enough and also removing too much content is emblematic of the controversy surrounding the burning question of how, who, and according to which principles free speech should be limited on social media. In the words of Techdirt editor Mike Masnick, content moderation at scale is “impossible to do well” given clashing global attitudes on where to draw the line, the vagueness of platform standards, and the fallibility of humans and technology.

Read Jacob Mchangamas full article at Foreign Policy.

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Jacob Mchangama is the Founder and Executive Director of The Future of Free Speech. He is also a research professor at Vanderbilt University and a Senior Fellow at The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).