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Content Moderation & Removal at Scale

February 2, 2018 @ 8:40 am - 6:00 pm

This conference explored how Internet companies operationalize the moderation and removal of third party/user-generated content (UGC). UGC services routinely say that moderating and removing content is hard and expensive. This conference explained the operational challenges and how companies are trying to solve them.

Photo Album

Conference hashtag discussion at #HTLI

Tech Dirt Essays


Speakers and Schedule

8:40 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:10 am Welcome and Introduction Including introductory remarks from Senator Ron Wyden by pre-recorded video
9:30 am Legal Overview (video)
Eric Goldman, Santa Clara Law (slides)
Daphne Keller, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School (slides)
10:00 am Overview of Each Company’s Operations (video)
Each company will describe their content moderation and removal operations, such as org charts, department names and job titles, headcount, who determines the policies, escalation paths, and “best practice” tips.

  • Automattic: Paul Sieminski, General Counsel
  • Dropbox: Ted Dean, Head of Public Policy
  • Facebook: Monika Bickert, VP Consumer Operations
  • Google: Nora Puckett, Senior Litigation Counsel
  • Medium: Alex Feerst, General Counsel and head of Trust & Safety
  • Pinterest: Adelin Cai, Policy Team (slides)
  • Reddit: Jessica Ashooh, Director of Policy
  • Wikimedia: Jacob Rogers, Counsel
  • Yelp: Aaron Schur, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation (slides)

[we will take a brief break between the Facebook and Google speakers]

12:15 pm Lunch

Lunchtime panel: The History and Future of Content Moderation featuring Charlotte Willner, Dave Willner, and Nicole Wong. (video)
Moderator: Kate Klonick, Yale Law School (PhD)

1:20 pm Session A: Employee/Contractor Hiring, Training and Mental Well-being (video)


  • Alex Feerst (Medium)
  • David Watkis (Automattic)
  • Charlotte Willner (Pinterest)
  • Moderator: Sarah T. Roberts (UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies)
2:20 pm Session B: Humans vs. Machines (video)


  • Jan Gerlach (Wikimedia)
  • Neil Potts (Facebook)
  • Aaron Schur (Yelp)
  • Moderator: Tarleton Gillespie (Microsoft Research)
3:15 pm Break
3:35 pm Session C: In-sourcing to Employees vs. Outsourcing to the Community or Vendors (video)


  • Zac Cox (Reddit)
  • Jacob Rogers (Wikimedia)
  • Aaron Schur (Yelp)
  • Gordon Strause (Nextdoor)
  • Charlotte Willner (Pinterest)
  • Moderator: Jennifer Urban (UC Berkeley School of Law)
4:35 pm Session D: Transparency and Appeals (video)


  • Alex Feerst (Medium)
  • Colin Sullivan (Patreon)
  • David Watkis (Automattic)
  • Moderator: Kevin Bankston (OTI)
5:30 pm Closing Remarks
5:40 pm Reception

CLE: This event will qualify for 6.25 hours of CLE. Santa Clara Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

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We are grateful for the generous financial support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Marketing (Non-Financial) Co-Sponsors:

  • CCIA
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School
  • Data & Society
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Engine
  • Internet Association
  • Internet and Privacy Law Committee, Business Law Section, California State Bar
  • Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University
  • New America’s Open Technology Institute
  • Niskanen Center
  • The Takedown Project
  • TechNYC


February 2, 2018
8:40 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Mission Room, Benson Center
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 United States
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    Content Moderation & Removal at Scale

  • February 2, 2018
  • 8:40 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mission Room, Benson Center