Since January 6th and the violent invasion of the US Congress, the world of social networks has been in turmoil. In the wake of these events, Donald Trump was banned from most of the major platforms and moderation of hateful content and disinformation has increased. We then saw massive migrations by conservative users to services that are believed to be freer and more tolerant of this type of conversation.
At the same time, a controversy arose after the changes initiated by WhatsApp. Annoyed by Facebook’s behavior, many internet users have turned to instant messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. Internally, this influx is not without questions.
Moderation deemed insufficient
The edge released a lengthy survey showing a number of Signal employees were concerned about this sudden growth and lack of adequate reluctance. According to them, this could lead to the proliferation of extremist content in the application.
The American media cited in particular the case of Gregg Bernstein, an engineer who left Signal in January. He believes the foundation’s CEO, Moxie Marlinspike, is not reacting enough to the risks. He points to the lack of a clear regulation, especially in the face of groups like the Proud Boys, a right-wing American organization.
The guide also replied The edge. He defends his pragmatic approach to moderation, stating that a messaging service is strictly not a social network. “” We do not algorithmically reinforce content. We do not have access to the content. And even in the app, there aren’t many ways to reinforce »He emphasizes.
Moxie Marlinspike is therefore very careful in this area. He does not want to take any action that could certainly hamper the communication of malicious actors, but would at the same time slow down the exchanges of organizations that Signal is supposed to help. We know, for example, that the use of activists fighting certain authoritarian regimes is widespread.
However, this position can be difficult to maintain as the pressure on courier services increases. So, for its part, Telegram decided to suppress public groups of white supremacists.