Automated Content Regulation (Sexuality Education and Health Information)
Focus Area: Health
Research Program: Data
This project involved a series of informal dialogues between ADM&S researchers, UNESCO staff and researchers in the fields of sexual justice and international development in 2021. These meetings discussed the multiple anecdotal accounts by sexual health promotion organisations worldwide of the chilling effect of existing content moderation practices, primarily in relation to Facebook and Instagram.
It was concluded that a large-scale global survey would be the most effective and actionable means of generating data that UNESCO and other NGOs could use within training and advocacy activities.
The participating researchers and practitioners co-designed a draft survey framework that could be used to assess the impacts of content moderation on sexuality educators and health promoters globally.
While the survey did not proceed as an ADM&S activity, UNESCO representatives were able to build on these discussions to inform the development of an internal community of practice for global content developers.
Key findings from these dialogues were shared at the 2021 Youth Tech Health Conference, hosted by the US-based not-for-profit health promotion organisation ETR, and HDR Williams has since presented at Australian health promotion conferences.
Other key outputs included submissions by HDR Williams and Research Fellow Stardust that informed Meta Oversight Board’s 2023 Decision on Gender Identity and Nudity on Instagram. Both submissions were cited in the Oversight Board’s report, informing recommendations to overturn existing bans, and revise and clarify existing guidelines relating to nudity and ‘sexual solicitation’.
COLLABORATORS AND PROJECT ADVISORS
- Sally Beadle
Programme Specialist, UNESCO
- Pauline Oosterhof
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (UK)
- Susie Jolly
Independent Scholar and Associate, Institute of Development Studies (UK)