Reimagining Social Media Governance: Harm, Accountability, and Repair

22 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Sarita Schoenebeck

Sarita Schoenebeck

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Lindsay Blackwell

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Date Written: July 29, 2021

Abstract

Despite a rich history of scholarship on the governance of online spaces, social media platforms continue to both cause and facilitate harm. Many of the problems that manifest on social media are amplifications of enduring social inequities; however, this does not absolve social media companies from the responsibility to recognize and repair the harms they enable. Current social media governance approaches largely focus on removing individual content and accounts that violate platform policies, but they overlook the individuals and communities who experience harm. This is at best an oversight, and at worst, an extension of Western criminal justice systems that prioritize retribution over structural change via accountability and repair. Drawing from justice theories, we propose several key shifts for social media governance to better recognize and repair harm.

Keywords: social media, online, harassment, abuse, governance, regulation, criminal justice, restorative justice

Suggested Citation

Schoenebeck, Sarita and Blackwell, Lindsay, Reimagining Social Media Governance: Harm, Accountability, and Repair (July 29, 2021). Schoenebeck, Sarita and Blackwell, Lindsay. Reimagining Social Media Governance: Harm, Accountability, and Repair (July 29, 2021). , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3895779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3895779

Sarita Schoenebeck (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://yardi.people.si.umich.edu/

Lindsay Blackwell

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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