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Preserving records of what user content is taken down—and why—could make platforms more accountable and transparent, argue John Bowers, Elaine Sedenberg, and Jonathan Zittrain in an essay for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

“The lack of accessible, well-documented indexing and archival schemes for platform-moderation decisions represent a threat to the accountability of one of the largest speech-governance projects ever undertaken; to the efficacy of that project in limiting speech-related harms while championing freedom of expression; and to the historical record. This is an industry-wide, contemporary problem that spans platforms of different shapes, sizes, and digital cultures.”

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