Here’s a summary of the talk from the European Digital Rights conference Privacy Camp 21 Panel: “Can restorative justice help us govern online spaces?”

Dr. Amy Hasinoff kicked off the session highlighting the shortcomings of a traditional content moderation approach, which offers some relief to victims but does not tackle the real underlying problems. Just like prison in the current criminal justice system removes the person who has done the harm from society, commercial content moderation performed by platforms is a punitive model where harmful content is simply removed. This process deprives people from understanding the conflicts. She then introduced the principles of restorative justice which take into account the needs of the person who did harm, the person who was harmed and the community. Finally she listed the conditions to apply restorative justice online: one must devote resources, support facilitators, allow openness and foster community transformation when the community has not yet integrated important values (such as gender equality).

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