Every day, billions of people worldwide sign onto the world’s social media platforms, consuming and producing massive amounts of digital media material for dissemination to friends, their communities, and the world. These media and the resulting activity related to their consumption—users’ status updates, likes and favorites, comments, posts, photo and video uploads, and so on—constitute what is known in the social media industry as user-generated content (UGC). The system of review and sometimes removal of UGC is known as content moderation. This entry further describes UGC and content moderation, then discusses the impetus for and outcomes of commercial content moderation, content moderation as a labor practice, and the relationship between content moderation and the law.

In terms of scale, recent statistics about how much content is ...

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