Marc Andreessen Once Called Online Safety Teams an Enemy. He Still Wants Walled Gardens for Kids

In his polarizing “Techno-Optimist Manifesto” last year, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen listed a number of enemies to technological progress. Among them were “tech ethics” and “trust and safety,” a term used for work on online content moderation, which he said had been used to subject humanity to “a mass demoralization campaign” against new technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Andreessen’s declaration drew both public and quiet criticism from people working in those fields—including at Meta, where Andreessen is a board member. Critics saw his screed as misrepresenting their work to keep internet services safer.

On Wednesday, Andreessen offered some clarification: When it comes to his 9-year-old son’s online life, he’s in favor of guardrails. “I want him to be able to sign up for internet services, and I want him to have like a Disneyland experience,” the investor said in an onstage conversation at a conference for Stanford University’s Human-Centered AI research institute. “I love the internet free-for-all. Someday, he’s also going to love the internet free-for-all, but I want him to have walled gardens.”

Contrary to how his manifesto may have read, Andreessen went on to say he welcomes tech companies—and by extension their trust and safety teams—setting and enforcing rules for the type of content allowed on their services.

“There’s a lot of latitude company by company to be able to decide this,” he said. “Disney imposes different behavioral codes in Disneyland than what happens in the streets of Orlando.” Andreessen alluded to how tech companies can face government penalties for allowing child sexual abuse imagery and certain other types of content, so they can’t be without trust and safety teams altogether.

Source : Wired