Page Last Updated: October 5, 2020
Content Moderation on Internet Platforms
The purpose of this research will be to evaluate technology companies’ management of user-generated content, advertisements, and other third-party content to assess implications related to social capital.
Technology companies are grappling with how to moderate user-generated content, political ads and other third-party content hosted on their platforms. The related issues, including terrorist content, disinformation and hate speech, are not captured in SASB standards, despite being potentially large value drivers and of increasing investor interest.
In this research project, SASB staff will:
- Define what SASB shall consider as “content moderation” issues (removal of illegal or objectionable user-generated content, review of third-party ads or products, concerns regarding the mental health of content reviewers) and the industries/business activities to which they apply
- Categorize content moderation issues through the lens of SASB’s General Issue Categories (customer welfare, product safety, employee health & safety, etc.)
- Establish an initial evidence-based view on whether and how content moderation issues have a financial impact on relevant companies
- Provide a recommendation to the Standards Board on whether to proceed to standard-setting
Research Project – Added to Research Program
As a result of research conducted as part of this research project, the project lead recommended that the Standards Board approve a separate standard-setting project in the Internet Media & Services industry at the September board meeting. The board approved the addition of this standard-setting project, titled Content Governance in the Internet Media & Services Industry, to the research agenda.
There are no published documents or drafts at this time. The project lead intends to publish a Taxonomy document during the course of this research project.
SASB to Research Content Moderation on Internet Platforms, December 2019, online blog
Board Meeting Outcomes
- Q4 2019: The Board discussed a new research project on Content Moderation on Internet Platforms.
- Q2 2020: The Board reviewed a draft of the Taxonomy document prepared by staff and discussed potential implications on standard-setting.
- Q3 2020: The Board approved a standard-setting project, Content Governance in the Internet Media & Services Industry, based on research conducted as part of this research project. The research project will remain ongoing.
For a full list of past and upcoming Standards Board meetings, as well as associated materials, please visit our Board Meetings Calendar & Archive.
Fill out this form for project-specific notifications about calls for public feedback, advancement in project phases, and research questions.
The staff has prepared this summary for informational purposes only. Any Standards Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of SASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.