In this position paper, the ILP Lab provides recommendations on the structure of ‘social media councils’ (SMCs), a self-regulatory initiative to address online content moderation issues. In short, an SMC should be structured as follows:
● It should contain an appeal mechanism which is in principle accessible to all users;
● It should apply a broad human rights framework, but be limited to assessing the application of platforms’ terms and conditions;
● It should be established on a global level and should have national sub-departments;
● It should use the European Convention on Human Rights or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a framework;
● Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter should take part in the creation and operation;
● The board of the SMC should consist of people from the judiciary, in addition to representatives of social media companies, the media, journalists, bloggers, digital rights organisations, the academic sector and minority and vulnerable groups; and
● The SMC could follow (inter)national rules regarding geographical jurisdiction and applicable law.
The report was written by Lisanne Bruggeman, in partnership with the Transatlantic High Level Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression. You can download the report here.