REMODE: A participatory risk governance method to re-innovate content moderation
The project REMODE develops a participatory risk governance method and toolbox for social media platforms that will enable user autonomy, stimulate good governance, and enforce law and ethics by design. It addresses the general call for more citizen engagement with social media platforms.
Social media platforms shape our experience and reality online: the people we meet, the content we read, the information we receive is all determined by content moderation and recommender systems. These systems and practices can limit the autonomy of the user and expose them to a variety of risks. Contemporary political, social and health crises demonstrate the weaknesses of social media in dealing with fake news and hate speech. Young people on social media can be nudged into self-destructive behavioral patterns by the way content is personalized. Such risks lack the proper involvement of users when they are being assessed.
Recent EU initiatives, such as the Digital Services Act (DSA), impose legal requirements for large social media platforms on the assessment of risks and design of risk mitigation. These platforms should conduct these risk assessments with the participation of the users of these platforms and people impacted by them.
REMODE aims to create a participatory risk governance method and toolbox to enhance and expand citizen engagement. The method will be inspired by both participatory (technology) assessments and participatory design approaches. Close collaboration with all stakeholders is essential for the development, uptake, and integration of the method and toolbox.
What results can be expected?
· A participatory method and toolbox to involve the public in the assessment and design of social media platforms.
· A collection of best practices for the co-design of recommender systems and content moderation practices on social media.
· An overview of possible design solutions relating to risks stemming from social media.
· Multi-stakeholder involvement to guide the development of the method.
This project is led by Daan Herpers and supported by Lisa Mette as student researcher and master thesis student. Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal is principal investigator.
Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal, Daan Herpers MA