moderated Re: Dealing with Terms of Service violations/other complaints


All good comments that I mostly agree with.

Another thought to think: A group is 'owned' by the owner(s) in one sense, but really the group is 'owned' by all members of the group in another sense. If the owner(s) of a group are involved in the ToS violation, and you contact them about it, I can imagine that owner simply deleting the group in a fit of pique, which could be a major blow to the members of the group. (This blends over into another issue that I'll mention in the next paragraph.) As a result, you might want to consider having the ability for you to 'lock' a group from being deleted/modified by the owner if/when you feel the owner may be complicit in the ToS violation. Once the situation is resolved, then the lock can be removed. In an extreme case, you might end up removing the current owner(s) as owners after posting to the group for new volunteer owner(s) and installing them, thus protecting the integrity/existence of the group for the (possibly) hundreds or thousands of members using that group. Even the U.S. constitution has the means to remove a rogue President... :-)

The other issue the above touches on is this (and maybe you already do...)--when an owner deletes a group, perhaps you should simply set a flag and a time/date stamp that the group has been deleted (and treat it as deleted, in most ways). After a reasonable time without 'complaints', you could then 'realize' that group deletion. But if complaints about the deletion are filed, then it could be possible, through some mechanism, to allow those complainants to become the new owners of the group and "bring it back from the dead." Again, a group is not just the owners, so in many ways the group IS owned by all members of the group, and a single 'owner' shouldn't be able to destroy everything the group has created without just cause. I realize this would involve investigation into the issues and a judgement call on your part as to whether the deletion was justified or not, but it seems like a very similar issue to the ToS violation issue.


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