Advising a coalition of institutional investors on content moderation and terrorist content

August, October 2021

Institutional investors representing $13 trillion issued an ultimatum after the Christchurch attacks: platform companies must do better. Two years on, how have the companies performed? What is the trend of global regulation?

Brainbox prepared an independent assessment of the changes made by social media companies to mitigate the impact of incidents like the attacks in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. It also drew on insights gained from participating in tabletop exercises to test emergency response protocols held in Wellington in 2019. We assessed Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet for the investor group.

The investors also sought an analysis of what good regulation looks like when it comes to content moderation by social media companies. Our analysis was grounded by reference to human rights principles and frameworks.

The analysis was funded by an investor coalition led by the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, with contributory funding from Neuberger Berman and Northern Trust.

In our report for the investor coalition, we concluded that transparency-based approaches to social media regulation deserved further investigation. We had the opportunity to investigate such approaches in our report to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence’s responsible AI working group, available here.

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