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Regulating terrorist content on social media: automation and the rule of law / Stuart Macdonald; Sara Giro Correia; Amy-Louise Watkin

International Journal of Law in Context, Volume: 15, Issue: 2, Pages: 183 - 197

Swansea University Author: Macdonald, Stuart

Abstract

Social media companies make extensive use of artificial intelligence in their efforts to remove and block terrorist content from their platforms. This article begins by arguing that, since such efforts amount to an attempt to channel human conduct, they should be regarded as a form of regulation tha...

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Published in: International Journal of Law in Context
ISSN: 1744-5523 1744-5531
Published: Cambridge University Press 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa45969
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Abstract: Social media companies make extensive use of artificial intelligence in their efforts to remove and block terrorist content from their platforms. This article begins by arguing that, since such efforts amount to an attempt to channel human conduct, they should be regarded as a form of regulation that is subject to rule of law principles. The article then discusses three sets of rule of law issues. The first set concerns enforceability. Here the article highlights the displacement effects that have resulted from the automated removal and blocking of terrorist content and argues that regard must be had to the whole social media ecology, as well as to jihadist groups other than the so-called Islamic State and other forms of violent extremism. Since rule by law is only a necessary, and not a sufficient, condition for compliance with rule of law values, the article then goes on to examine two further sets of issues: the clarity with which social media companies define terrorist content and the adequacy of the processes by which a user may appeal against an account suspension or the blocking or removal of content. The article concludes by identifying a range of research questions that emerge from the discussion and that together form a promising and timely research agenda to which legal scholarship has much to contribute.
Keywords: Counterterrorism, propaganda, rule of law, human rights, regulation, artificial intelligence
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
Issue: 2
Start Page: 183
End Page: 197