The Importance of Appeals Systems on Social Media Platforms

6 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2019

Date Written: October 1, 2019


The appeals process is an important procedural mechanism that can be used to challenge substantive rules but its current incarnation at social media companies is unsatisfactory. Currently, content will be flagged on a social media platform as potentially violating the terms and conditions of the platform. Moderators at the platform will then decide what action should be taken, whether the content should remain, be deleted, demonetised, age-restricted, or turned over to the authorities. The user who posted the content will then have the opportunity to appeal the decision, requesting that the platform re-consider, usually by filling out an online form.This appeals process, however, is underdeveloped and would benefit from reform. This policy brief will give an overview of why appeals processes are important, the role they play in social media content moderation, and explain how some groups (activists and social media entrepreneurs) are especially affected by weak appeals processes.

Keywords: Internet Law; Law and Technology; Intermediary Liability; Platforms

Suggested Citation

Common, MacKenzie, The Importance of Appeals Systems on Social Media Platforms (October 1, 2019). LSE Law - Policy Briefing Paper No. 40, September 2019, Available at SSRN: or

MacKenzie Common (Contact Author)

London School of Economics (LSE) ( email )

London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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