\ Insights Lab \
The Good Censor
How can Google reassure the world that it protects users from harmful content while still supporting free speech?
CULTURAL CONTEXT REPORT - MARCH 2018
Proprietary + Confidential
// Insights Lab
Can Google protect free-speech
police harmful content?
From elections and political propaganda, trolls and gendered bigotry, to hate speech and religious extremism,
debates about who can and should be heard on the internet rage like never before.
As governments struggle to apply existing legislation to the Wild West online,
users are asking if the openness of the internet should be celebrated after all.
Bots and troll farms lash out at free thought and controversial opinion, while faceless users attack each other without empathy.
Free speech becomes a social, economic and political weapon.
Automated technologies lack the sophistication to adjudicate effectively. In response, people think twice before airing their thoughts aloud, while critique is buried under avalanches of automated rebuttals, vitriolic attacks and nonsensical rhetoric.
As the tech firms struggle to deal with the issues, the public and governments grow increasingly impatient.
Yet, amongst all this negativity, seeds of political harmony, gender and racial equality, and tolerance are sown on the internet.
Is it possible to have an open and inclusive internet
while simultaneously limiting political oppression and despotism, hate, violence and harassment?
Who should be responsible for censoring ‘unwanted’ conversation, anyway? Governments? Users? Google?
// Insights Lab
This report is the result of several layers of research
UK (x5)DE (x5)AUS (x5)
Investigating the Terrain
Desk research (academic and industry studies)
JP (x5)IN (x5)US (x5)
Cultural trends (Canvas8 Library) + Narrative analysis (Quid)
Jason PontinFranklin FoerKalev Leetaru