Mixed Messages? The Limits of Automated Social Media Content Analysis

Governments and companies are turning to automated tools to make sense of what people
post on social media, for everything ranging from hate speech detection to law enforcement
investigations. Policymakers routinely call for social media companies to identify and take
down hate speech, terrorist propaganda, harassment, “fake news” or disinformation, and
other forms of problematic speech. Other policy proposals have focused on mining social
media to inform law enforcement and immigration decisions. But these proposals wrongly
assume that automated technology can accomplish on a large scale the kind of nuanced
analysis that humans can accomplish on a small scale.

Tags: Content Analysis, Freedom of Expression, Social Media