Looks Like New – Could online justice be restorative?

The stakes for moderation and governance in online communities are getting higher and higher. Harms can be very serious, from election manipulation to sexual abuse.

But for the most part, platforms rely on only very blunt tools for addressing these harms—the digital equivalents of censoring and exiling.

But can we do better than simply imagining we can make harm go away?

Niloufar Salehi (UC Berkeley) and Amy Hasinoff (CU Denver) have been exploring how to bring practices of restorative justice into online communities. This discussion is part of the Metagovernance Seminar (metagov.org).


MEDLab’s radio show and podcast, Looks Like New, asks old questions about new tech.

Each month, host Nathan Schneider speaks with someone who works with technology in ways that challenge conventional narratives and dominant power structures. The name comes from the phrase “a philosophy so old that it looks like new,” repeated throughout the works of Peter Maurin, the French agrarian poet and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement.

You can hear Looks Like New the fourth Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., or online as a podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.