Within Western democracies we firmly believe in something called ‘trias politica‘. In other words, separation of powers. However, with platforms and groups, the so-called ‘back office’ is the prosecutor, judge and executioner in one. There is always a sense of insecurity that an account can be deleted at the touch of a button and that this action is irreversible nor can’t be repealed.
This is undesirable because it fits more into the picture of a dictatorship than a democracy. Especially the power to permanently close (ban) accounts should not be with the platforms or groups themselves.
It is a big problem which needs to be tackled in different ways starting with:
Better back office reporting tools for administrators
Easier and faster overview of reported messages + filtering by different type of reported messages including violations
Be able to see who has reported in order to deter false reports + possibility for explanation to the reporting person
Provide an explanation of the violation & associated sanction, if imposed, to the offender
Apply a adversarial process before resorting to sanctions
Replace permanent bans to temporary suspension (ban) options that vary from 1 day to a maximum of 1 month
The obligation of processing the reports within a month
Better reporting tools for users
Have the opportunity to provide explanations when reporting
Having the ability to upload screenshots or videos to provide context + annotations
View the pipeline status of the report
Better tools for the accused/offenders
The possibility to view real-time what the reported message is about
The possibility of defense (in the context of adversarial process)
The possibility to view the duration of the sanction
Continue to have garanteed access to crucial aspects such as finances & personal data
The suspended account shouldn’t make it impossible to login to other platforms
In short, there is still a lot of work to be done to make and keep the internet more pleasant as well as safer.