Content moderation on social media: Does it matter who and why moderates hate speech?

Sai Wang*, Ki Joon Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artificial intelligence (AI) has been increasingly integrated into content moderation to detect and remove hate speech on social media. An online experiment (N = 478) was conducted to examine how moderation agents (AI vs. human vs. human–AI collaboration) and removal explanations (with vs. without) affect users' perceptions and acceptance of removal decisions for hate speech targeting social groups with certain characteristics, such as religion or sexual orientation. The results showed that individuals exhibit consistent levels of perceived trustworthiness and acceptance of removal decisions regardless of the type of moderation agent. When explanations for the content takedown were provided, removal decisions made jointly by humans and AI were perceived as more trustworthy than the same decisions made by humans alone, which increased users' willingness to accept the verdict. However, this moderated mediation effect was only significant when Muslims, not homosexuals, were the target of hate speech.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • content moderation
  • hate speech
  • artificial intelligence
  • social media
  • transparency


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