New (Digital) Media in Creative Society: Ethical Issues of Content Moderation

  • Salvatore Schinello
Keywords: digital media, social media, content moderation, ethical issues and challenges, Umberto Eco, censorship


Digitalisation and platformisation are continuously impacting and reshaping the societies we live in. In this context, we are witnessing the rise of phenomena such as fake news, hate speech, and the sharing of any other illegal content through social media. In this paper, I propose some ethical reflections on content moderation in the context of digital (social) media, as this topic seems – to me – to already incorporate other relevant digital issues in it, such as algorithms bias, the spread of fake news, and the potential misuses of artificial intelligence. In the first section, I will provide a few hermeneutic reflections over a speech given by the Italian scholar Umberto Eco, which appears to underline the necessity of a content moderation in an era of digital (social) media. In the second section, I will analyse, through a consequentialist perspective, critical and ethical issues posed by content moderation. In particular, I suggest the idea of a ‘moderate’ (reasonable and limited) content moderation that can only be assured by humans, as they are able to contextualise the content, to take emotions and subjective elements into account, to apply critical thinking and adaptability in complex circumstances.