Some way to appeal moderator actions is probably needed. However, given that there should not be an authoritative instance behind the project, except for development and legal-stuff, there is need for some specialized appeal procedure.
Here’s what I propose (similar to Wikipedia’s ArbCom):
There is a network-wide community-court (“Court/Committee of Appeal”) that is elected in moderator-like elections every X years (X=2?). These users
have moderation powers on every instance within our networkcan obtain moderation powers on every instance within our network to enforce the court’s judgements and handle the following things:
- complaints against moderator actions (i.e. suspension, formal warning, …)
- not acceptable are complaints against simple actions (i.e. closure, deletion of posts, …), unless the action has already been disputed on the meta-discussions site, consensus was against the mod decision and the decision has not been reverted in a reasonable time
- moderator removal procedures.
The court will need to follow principles of transparency and to give reasons for their decisions. Their judgement is binding.
I think it should not be the court’s task to resolve disputes between users (“arbitration”), that should be done on the meta-discussions site or, if needed, via mod actions.
What do you think?