Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has spelled out the crypto company’s policies for removing content from the site, a move that underlines the growing push to remove objectionable or misleading information on the web.
In a blog post published on Friday, Armstrong said Coinbase will take “moderation action” – including removing content or terminating an account – if the content is deemed “illegal in a jurisdiction in which we operate,” if it falls under an exception under the First Amendment or if a “critical partner” such as Apple’s App Store “required us” to do so.
“We believe everyone deserves access to financial services, and that companies should put appropriate controls in place to prevent censorship or unjust account closures from taking place,” Armstrong said. “I’m sure we won’t get it perfect with our policy …but my hope is that we’ve laid out some principles we can fall back on when difficult decisions arise, and that investors, customers, and employees can have a better understanding of our process.”
Armstrong explained Coinbase’s policy at a time when tech companies have drawn fire for content that was denounced as misleading and dangerous. The most recent example involved Spotify, which has faced heavy criticism for hosting Joe Rogan, the podcaster accused of spreading misleading information about the pandemic. Armstrong said that even though Coinbase is unlikely to face the kind of moderation decisions that companies like Meta and Spotify do, "we still need to set clear policies around acceptable use of our products." As Coinbase expands into NFTs and other products, he added, these policies could be tested more often.