Over the past few weeks there has been a good deal of debate regarding the role of the social network management in policing user actions on their networks. This becomes a particularly contentious issue in the case of political protest.
I would like to propose the following set of guidelines for brand and network moderation:
The 10 Commandments of Social Moderation
- Moderation should seek to be permissive. Encourage dialogue, avoid censorship.
- Policy and process must be clearly communicated in advance. Seek to deliver what's best in the interest of the community through the lens of the individual. Avoid "greater good" and "moral relativity" discussions by setting clear, universal guidelines.
- Define processes for receiving and addressing feedback. Consistently implemented with transparency.
- Define your process for addressing the unusual or unexpected. When breaking from your established policy, clearly explain why you have elected to make this change. When the unusual becomes common, consider revising guidelines or differentiating guidelines based on specific criteria (ex allowing anonymous usage in China).
- Threats of physical harm against civilians must be removed.
- Threats against minors must be removed.
- Real names/anonymity guidelines should be enforced with consistency, barring a human rights issues (see 5).
- Every user has the right to know why they were removed from a network, as well as the license to voice their concerns outside of the community. Due process must be defined in advance and clearly communicated.
OK, so I only had nine commandments. What would you put in as #10? What would you add or remove? Here's to hoping we can start a meaningful, productive discussion, advancing our practice and our space moving forward.
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On that note, THANK YOU FACEBOOK for removing the Third Intifada Facebook page. Here's to hoping, praying and dreaming that we can all find a way to peacefully and productively coexist.
UPDATE: A second Third Intifada page is up on FB with over three million members. Please go to the page and report it. Share the message, save a life.