Amazon is planning to develop its in-house moderation staff for Amazon Net Providers, in response to a report published on Thursday by Reuters. Citing two sources, the report says Amazon is planning to make use of the brand new workforce to proactively take away extra prohibited content material from AWS earlier than it’s reported by customers.
Reached for touch upon Thursday, Amazon mentioned it didn’t plan to pre-review content material earlier than it’s posted on the platform, however declined to verify or deny specifics. On Friday, nonetheless, Amazon adopted up with a extra strongly worded assertion instantly contesting that the staff’s methodology would change.
“Reuters’ reporting is wrong,” a consultant mentioned. “AWS Trust & Safety has no plans to change its policies or processes, and the team has always existed.”
Amazon has lengthy maintained an Acceptable Use Policy for AWS, which forbids utilizing the service for laptop intrusions, spam, or the promotion of violence or different crimes. However enforcement of these phrases has been largely reactive, typically counting on exterior person stories to determine prohibited content material. Whereas the coverage itself is not going to change, the aggressive enforcement method will put AWS in the identical class as main platforms like Fb and YouTube.
Terrorism researchers have beforehand known as for a extra proactive method from internet hosting platforms, with one editorial in 2019 calling out Amazon particularly. “Companies need to proactively monitor what’s on their platforms to be sure they are not inadvertently hosting it,” the editorial reads, “not wait for outsiders to expose it.”
The transfer comes on the heels of an identical shift from Apple, which just lately introduced a controversial system to proactively scan for little one abuse imagery in iCloud images.
A shift towards proactive moderation would more likely to inflame conservative considerations about supposed censorship on AWS, launched when Amazon abruptly discontinued Parler’s internet hosting after the platform refused to take away a string of violent threats. Parler sued Amazon within the wake of the choice, though it has discovered little success in court docket.
Some features of that shift already seem like underway. Reuters notes that Amazon took down an ISIS-linked website earlier this week, following the path from an app operated by an offshoot group that was not hosted on the service.
The brand new moderation hires are a part of a broader hiring push by CEO Andy Jassy, who had beforehand been answerable for AWS. Jassy plans to rent as many as 55,000 new employees in tech and corporate roles, together with a major enlargement of the corporate’s satellite tv for pc web ambitions underneath Undertaking Kuiper.
6:33PM ET: Up to date with assertion from Amazon.
9/4 9:13AM ET: Included new assertion from Amazon, which instantly contests Reuters reporting. The article and headline have been modified to replicate that Amazon is disputing the report.