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ARTICLE 19: Social Media Council consultation


An important dimension of the Social Media Council (SMC) project is that the proposed structure has no exact precedent: only with a certain degree of creativity can the complexity of the issues raised by the creation of this new mechanism be solved.


The need for a mechanism capable of ensuring effective accountability of platforms for content moderation is increasingly recognized on all sides. To fulfil this need, ARTICLE 19 has proposed the creation of the Social Media Council – a model for a voluntary accountability mechanism that would provide an open, transparent, accountable and participatory forum to address content moderation issues on social media platforms, on the basis of international standards on freedom of expression and other human rights.

At this stage of discussing our proposal with CSOs, academics, social media companies and other stakeholders, it appears that there are different visions for the creation of an open, transparent, accountable and participatory forum that applies international standards to content moderation on social media. We consider that these different conceptions, which all pursue the common goal of bring-ing content moderation in line with international standards, are not mutually exclusive: they can be designed to be complementary.


Accordingly, in this consultation, we present the core questions around which options may diverge:

  1. Substantive standards: could SMCs apply international standards directly or should they apply a Code of Human Rights Principles for Content Moderation?
  2. Functions of SMCs: should SMCs have an advisory role or should they be able to review in-dividual cases?
  3. Global or national: should SMCs be created at the national level or should there be one global SMC?
  4. Subject-matter jurisdiction: should SMCs deal with all content moderation decisions of so-cial media companies, or should they have a more specialised area of focus? 

We also present proposals to address technical problems such as:

  • Constitution Process
  • Structures
  • Geographic Jurisdiction (for a national SMC)
  • Rules of Procedure (if the SMC is an appeals mechanism)
  • Funding
There are 28 questions in this survey.


The information and data collected in this survey will only serve to inform the development of ARTICLE 19’s model for a Social Media Council.


We will not share your personal information or make your responses public: we will only cite information collected in this survey in reference to the categories of the participants (e.g., "Academics said that...").


We will send you occasional updates on the evolution of the project if you choose to receive such information.


You can read ARTICLE 19's privacy policy here.


Should you have any question, you may contact:

Pierre François Docquir

Head of Media Freedom at ARTICLE 19

E-mail: [email protected]