Upcoming proposal and discussion on content moderation

Yes of course, important point. As a United States citizen who sees no issue with Nintendo’s claim (though I wish they would allow this usage, it’s not up to me to force their hand nor infringe) I will personally vote to shut the canister down.

As we move to come to a consensus as a community on what we will and will not allow, I’m sure we’ll all weigh in on what we believe is right. What is legal may have a lot to do with that.

But of course in our direct liquid democracy, it’s currently mob rule.


It should be, because it goes to the core of the problems that Twitter and Facebook faced last year. Are they publishers, or platforms? Does their content moderation make them responsible for what they host? If you take responsibility for removal of material for violating ToS pre-emptive of court demands, you are then responsible for things that a jurisdiction believes you should have controlled. You lose the right to the defence of common carrier. Given that you will have hybrid applications that will use, for example, IPFS for data storage but deliver that via canister, that is going to be a large moderation burden.


Also, I think we should start considering how difficult it should be to pass some of these proposals. I don’t think the simple direct liquid democracy is appropriate for every proposal.

How hard should it be for us to shut down this canister? I’m kind of thinking it should take an extraordinary amount of voting power to do this, like 2/3 or more.


Hmm…hypothetically speaking, what would the court do in this case? Who would they order to do what?

Most of the nodes are in countries that are members of World Intellectual Property Organization. If we do not act as responsible citizens, it will accelerate/stimulate the imposition of regulatory countermeasures that are unhelpful. Placing this burden on node operators is unfair. While playing Mario may be fun, it is not something for which I would sacrifice the reputation of the IC.

Regarding a takedown policy, it should include:
• terrorist content;
• content that incites violence;
• hate speech;
• non-consensual sharing of intimate images; and
• child sexual exploitation content;
• cyber security issue;
• copyright infringement
• money laundering
• other criminal activity

The difficulty with “other criminal activity” is the differences in law from one nation to another. For example, being critical of one’s government varies based on jurisdiction and can range from being considered treason to just being an engaged citizen. Even more complex is content censorship.

Depending on the nature of the complaint and the jurisdiction, the representations to take down could be mild or severe, legal or illegal including intimidation, coercion, state sanction execution and even military action.

Implementing the SNS will help take the load off of the NNS. I suggest that once the SNS gets rolling, the NNS or node operator should be able to send a message to the Dapp’s SNS informing that there is an issue (if the NNS has been advised) of the following types:

• Operational issue
• Security Issue
• Compliance Issue

The SNS can vote and reply or ignore.

If it is sufficiently grave issue or in the absence of a SNS based DAO, the NNS may take unilateral action based on community votes (e.g. to suspend the canister) which has always been the case. However, with an SNS in place, the NNS would inform the SNS that the Dapp has been suspended.
It is fairly easy to vote and take down a single canister. Self-regeneration mechanisms will surely be deployed and will make this more difficult as time goes on. Think of the game Whack-a-Mole. Also, if rotating workloads between nodes is implemented, the node operators may not have to be involved in the issue.

I wrote before on this subject in August:


I suppose another option, which I believe someone else has mentioned, is to just wait and see if the canister creator will remove the canister.

I didn’t consider the potential legal consequences of our actions now. If we act in certain ways we might transform ourselves into forever arbiters under the laws of certain jurisdictions.

After all, this is the fault of the creator of the canister, it would be great if that person could take responsibility.

Taking this to the extreme, what happens when that person doesn’t respond and this goes to court?


I generally agree. But this raises serious issues. First, who determines what is considered a “legitimate” claim of intellectual property infringement? Even though this case seems to be open and shut, IP disputes are often messy. Moreover, a malicious actor could completely lie and say that something on the Internet Computer violates their intellectual property. Are we going to rely on voters to do independent research to determine whether something actually is a violation of intellectual property? Are we going to require both sides to submit their arguments on why something is or is not a violation?

Second, how does this scale? As the Internet Computer gets larger and larger, how is it going to be humanly possible for voters to determine what is a valid claim of infringement and what isn’t? Indeed, we might get hundreds of takedown requests a day. Nobody can go through all of them.

Third, can this be gamed? If people aren’t paying attention to these votes because they don’t have the requisite information to determine what actually constitutes infringement, they will either (1) abstain, or (2) vote at random. In theory, they can just rely on the neurons they follow to vote for them. But it’s not clear to me that ICDevs, Cycle DAO, etc. will have the ability to accurately make judgment calls on the infringement either–let alone the time. If a large enough number of people abstain from voting, voting could be captured by a handful of malicious actors. For example, Google or Facebook could stake ICP tokens and vote to remove all canisters that try to compete with them–on the theory that the competitors are violating their IP.

These are serious issues.


Actually I’m reconsidering this based on the comments. Though I think this specific request by Nintendo is legitimate, I’m not sure who should ultimately be responsible for the takedown and when. A simple reactive response to a DMCA request may not be appropriate.


Interesting fact, to reach the 3% simple majority threshold with a single vote, an 8-year neuron would currently need staked ICP equivalent to about $150M USD.


What if we find the creator and ask him/her to take down the canister? Shouldn’t that be the first step?

Yeah kind of terrifying

If we take the position that a court order would be sufficent to act, not all courts in all nations make judgements based on the same principles, values and laws. “Being considered a carrier” - is US centric. Do we know where this node operator is situated? In some jurisdictions, failure to act can result in penalties. Also, what jurisdiction’s law applies to the IC? There is no caselaw yet is there?

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Just an idea, is it possible for ICP to provide somekind of protocol for IP copyright protection in form of NFT on ICP? let say…for example the Mario64 software file 256-hash as the NFT. So, if any malicious canister want to upload the same file software, will be autorejected.


@bob11 and I will be debating this topic in about 45 minutes over Twitter Spaces, anyone else who wants their opinions to be known, join us!


So all code in a canister has a hash. It is very easy to change the content by altering 1 bit in a canister.

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I couldn’t figure out from the discussion what would happen to the node provider if we didn’t shut the canister down? Does it mean they will be held responsible for the canister and probably the could be under a legal responsibility?
Before I vote we also want to know what’s the consequences of our votes in regard to our node providers.


Coin_master, we don’t know what will happen. My bet is she would probably be sued and have to defend herself in court, which would be quite expensive in the US. The node operator might think that it’s not worth paying attorneys to defend herself, and just shut down her node to avoid suit.

And that would be node prerogatives to close down the node. If there is enough economic incentive, they should be trying to convince the community to shut the canister down instead of the whole node.

And none of this would matter if enough decentralization is in place(i.e. a subnet having nodes across the globe)

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And extending the thought a little bit, the genesis of this discussion was:" DFINITY Foundation was contacted on December 6, 2021 by a node provider who received a notice of infringement of copyrighted materials from Nintendo Co., Ltd. asking to remove the Super Mario 64 emulator that was deployed to canister smart contract "

Why should the dfinity foundation care in the sense of the fact that (a) it does not own the node providers (b) it doesn’t own the content (c) the canister can be voted down by participants of the NNS if agreed to?

If DFINITY Foundation didn’t bring it up here, the community would have never known. Who is the complaint against? How can it be the node provider? How would taking down a node cure the offense;if any?

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Maybe Nintendo should upload it’s own canister.