Jeremy Malcolm

AI and Victimless Content under Europe’s CSA Regulation

On November 14 the European Parliament presented its compromise take on the European Commission’s controversial draft CSA Regulation. Commissioner Ylva Johannson’s proposal mandates that Internet platforms operating in Europe conduct surveillance of their users. It effectively requires them to use AI classifiers to sift through a vast stream of private communications to identify suspected child […]

Why the EU will Lose Its Battle for Chat Control

Nobody wants to have their private communications vetted by AI robots. That’s the message that rings loud and clear from the backlash against European Commissioner Ylva Johansson’s proposal for a Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Regulation. Division over this proposal, dubbed “Chat Control 2.0” by its critics, has only deepened following recent revelations about the extent […]

Child Protection or Privacy Invasion? Examining the Online Safety Bill

There’s perhaps no more important issue than the protection of children from sexual abuse, and certainly none that is more emotive or politically potent. In any other circumstances, proposing to extend mass surveillance to communications that were previously confidential would be politically near impossible. But by invoking the justification of saving children, achieving the impossible […]

Child Protection Professionals Censored on Wikipedia

As a strong supporter and veteran of community-based platform governance, it gives me no pleasure to observe how badly the volunteers on English Wikipedia are managing the platform’s child safety issues. The root problem is that the Wikimedia Foundation – the legal entity that hosts Wikipedia and its sister projects – has delegated tasks to its community […]

Generative AI and Children: Prioritizing Harm Prevention

Among many hot policy issues around generative AI, one that has gained increasing attention in recent months is the potential (and, increasingly, actual) use of this technology to create, as the New York Times puts it, “explicit imagery of children who do not exist.” The concerns expressed are mostly pragmatic, not moral; for example the […]

Three Guidelines for Child Exploitation Policies

One of the specialities that I have developed as a trust and safety professional over the last five years is in assisting platforms to develop policies that accurately and fairly distinguish child exploitation from protected expression. Many platforms find difficulty in drawing this line for themselves, or may end up drawing it in ways that […]

Child Protection and Civil Liberties in the Balance

Around the world, democratic governments are attempting to establish a new norm that they should have the power to read your private messages. This is happening now in the United Kingdom, where WhatsApp, Signal, and the Wikimedia Foundation have telegraphed to the UK government that they would leave the jurisdiction rather than place their users […]

Four Proposed Child Safety Laws, Four Approaches

The U.S. EARN IT Act, Britain’s Online Safety Bill and its stateside counterpart the Kids Online Safety Act, an upcoming European regulation combating child sexual abuse online, and a proposed United Nations convention on cybercrime, are a few current proposals for new legal instruments addressing child safety online at national, regional, and global levels. While […]

How Your Platform Can Protect Young People from Online Harms

As any parent knows, raising children can be equal parts fulfilling, daunting, and frustrating. While Internet platforms aren’t parents, their relationships with their younger users can be similarly complex. Young people may be early tech adopters, but they frequently place a greater load on trust and safety teams than adults do, and their usage is […]

2022: Year of the Groomer

Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter since October 2022, talks big about prioritizing child safety on the platform. Yet his actions towards Twitter’s own Trust & Safety team members suggest that he is motivated by an unsavory form of virtue-signaling, rather than a sincere concern for the safety of children. Musk has joined a disingenuous chorus […]

Jeremy Malcolm

Trust & Safety Consultant