How we “police” Coop Content
Short answer… we don’t.
Long answer… we don’t trawl through everything everyone posts to deal with every minor spat between individuals, or delete something that someone somewhere might find offensive. That’s what the REPORT button is for.
Therefore, Coop saves time overall from just double checking the things it has some responsibility for, like the Content it hosts. Then we can spend time more effectively looking at any issues resulting from Conduct on the site.
Our belief is that all our Users are responsible for their own actions and can resolve issues between themselves without having to resort to using Coop as a point of authority. *
If no resolution can be reached between individuals, and simply Blocking the other User for their Conduct, or Blocking a specific piece of Content from appearing in your Activity Feed, then we will investigate further.
For investigations we have a Quick Guide and then Further Details below, so please read on and familiarise yourselves. We will also have some articles on the Content Feed explaining why we’ve chosen to work like this, as well as any updates or changes to our processes based on your feedback.
* The only exception to this are User under the age of 18. The site does accept Users as young as 13; they are allowed to donate, subscribe, and make purchases; but we do expect them to have Parental/Guardian approval and/or supervision. They are still responsible for their own actions, but their age will be taken into account. Other social media sites let 13 to 17-year-olds on, so we’re just matching the market standard with their having access, but we are being a little more stringent with our Conduct reports, investigations, and outcomes.
Our Reporting and Investigation Process
The 5-R’s – a tl;dr guide to how you Report something/someone, how we Respond to and Review the Report, the basics of what Results may come from a Report, and any Recourse a User can take against a Report or Result they find unfair or unfounded.
Reporting Content, Conduct, or Users is simple. Find the Report button on a Post, Comment, Share, Profile, etc. and click, then complete the form, and wait for action to be taken.
It may take up to 24hrs, to receive a Response, but you will be informed sooner or later of receipt, any further info we might need, and the progress of a Report.
We will attempt to respond within 24hrs to all Reported issues, whether that is a full response or an acknowledgement of receipt and explanation of the delay.
We will also inform the User who has been Reported, whether it’s directly about them or their Conduct on a specific Post, Comment, etc. They will also be kept up to date with the Review process.
Responses may also be updates, follow-up contact for statements or additional evidence, but these will explicitly state the reasons for more time being required.
If an issue is more complex it will need an extended Review period. You will be informed of this, as it may last between 48-72hrs, in addition to the original 24hr period.
If no decision can be made by Coop Content, then the situation will be put to trial by a jury of peers. In brief, anonymised versions of the evidence we have collected will be given to a randomised jury from Coop’s user-base to make an impartial decision.
The Results of a Report can be complicated and overlapping, but we will try to implement them as fairly and clearly as possible, so everyone involved is aware of the reasoning behind any course of action.
These will all be explained below for further clarity, but this is just a brief guide for those wanting to know how the process goes, not the particulars involved.
A User faced with Results they do not agree with can request that their case be Reviewed again. The first time the case will be re-opened and assessed as a standard 24hr Review.
The second assessment would be conducted as an extended Review period of between 48-72hrs. The third and final assessment would be through a trial by a jury of peers.
Conduct in Breach of our Code
You must be at least 13 years old at the time of creating your account with us, and if you are under 18 then you must have Parental/Guardian approval and/or supervision while doing so. If you are suspected of being under 13, we will need proof of age provided by your parent/guardian, or your account will be suspended until you are old enough.
Engaging in illegal activity of any kind on or through Coop Content. For us, that would be based on UK law as that is where we are based, but obviously you will be subject to the laws of your own country as well.
Pornography; Gambling; Advertising; Spam or machine-generated content; Firearms and other weaponry, accessories, or ammunition; Fireworks or explosives; Copyright or intellectual property infringement; Impersonation; Calls for or acts of violence; Images, videos, or encouragement of physical harm, self-harm, or death; Targeted harassment or abuse of animals, property, groups, organisations, or individuals; Child pornography, exploitation, or abuse; Adult services; Drug use; Violates any legislation, promotes, or engages in the sale or distribution of prescription medication without a valid prescription; Defamation, liable, and slander; Tax avoidance or fraud; Hacking or the production, distribution, or installation of any form of malicious programs; Theft or piracy; Terrorism; Distribution of a group, organisation, or individual’s personal information; Coordinated harmful activities.
We will now look at the items which refer more to Conduct, rather than Content, for further clarity:
Advertising – We cannot accept any advertising on our site other than self promotion. Marketing of outside products, services, or brands can be done on your other social media and personal sites, but not on Coop Content.
Spam or machine-generated content – All your content must be your own, as it has to be attributable to you as the creator, in case there are any disputes or investigations required. This can be ignored in the case of memes and anything covered by Fair Use.
Impersonation – You must actually represent the person/brand you claim to. Again, this is so that any conduct or content can be accurately attributed to you if called into dispute or required investigation. If the impersonation is part of Comedy and Satire or comes under Fair Use it must be clearly labelled as such.
Calls for or acts of violence – This is illegal, simple as that. If you do breach this rule, and we cannot determine via context whether it is legitimate or not, we may have to get the appropriate authorities involved, so be warned.
Targeted harassment or abuse of animals, property, groups, organisations, or individuals – Contextually, it can be difficult to determine what exactly constitutes as harassment. As an example only: a single insult, or even several as part of a singular but prolonged exchange (like an argument), would not be harassment; however, repeatedly insulting the same target on multiple occasions would be.
Defamation, liable, and slander – Again, illegal and the UK has some of the harshest laws in the world for these, so make sure that whatever you do say, that may discredit anyone/anything, has a source to back you up.
Coordinated harmful activities – We have included this as a separate section to Targeted harassment because these could be actions that end up affecting Coop Content indirectly. Do not commit any service denial attacks, mass/false flagging, or group harassment campaigns against Users on this site. We might let an individual get away with an insult as explained above, but if one target is dog-piled by multiple users all at once, everyone involved will be held accountable joint and severally.
The Stages of Results
These are the actions that a User must take once found guilty of a breach of our Code of Conduct.
The actions that will be taken by Coop Content if the User does not comply are also explained here.
First Offence or the first offence to have occurred for a defined period (this will be explained below).
The User that has been Reported must remove or cease the offending Content or Conduct within 48hrs or face Stage 2 Results.
No further action will be taken by Coop Content if the above request is acted upon within the time frame.
Second Offence within a defined period or refusal to take action as based on the Stage 1 Result.
The User must remove or cease the offending Content or Conduct within 48hrs or face a 24hr ban.
No further action will be taken by Coop Content if the above request is acted upon within the time frame.
Third Offence within a defined period or refusal to take action as based on the Stage 2 Result.
The User must remove or cease the offending Content or Conduct within 48hrs or face a 48hr ban.
The User will also be placed on Level 1 Probation for 1 month (this will be explained below).
Fourth Offence within a defined period or refusal to take action as based on the Stage 3 Result.
The User must remove or cease the offending Content or Conduct within 48hrs or face a 72hr ban.
The User will also be placed on Level 2 Probation for 1 month (this will be explained below).
Fifth Offence within a defined period or refusal to take action as based on the Stage 4 Result.
The User must remove or cease the offending Content or Conduct within 48hrs or face a 1 week ban.
The User will also be placed on Level 3 Probation for 1 month (this will be explained below).
Probation comes into effect from Stage 3 onward. This is to give another level of enforcement to our Code of Conduct, allowing Users to stay on the platform rather than face perma-bans. It also means that we can accept high profile/notorious Users from other platforms, guarding the Coop Community a little more while they settle in.
Think of the 3 Levels of Probation as a Traffic Light system: Level 1 is Green – you’re mostly good, but the lights could change; Level 2 is Amber – you could take the risk, but it would be best to play it safe; and Level 3 is Red – STOP!
The intention is to have these overlap with the consequences of the 5 Stages of Results and their ban periods for repeat offenders, or those that refuse to accept the Results after exhausting their Recourse options.
If you commit three breaches (at any combination of stage/level) of the Code of Conduct over any 90 day period (3 consecutive months), then you get put on a Level 1 Probation. It might be unfortunate coincidences, but we also cannot have users acting as if they get one free breach of the rules every month.
If, during the month of Probation, you are found guilty of breaching the Code of Conduct again, you go up to the next level. Which then means you have to get through 1 month of Probation at a higher level before you can come back down to the previous level and finish the remainder of its term.
Example: if you breach the Code of Conduct while on a Level 1 Probation on day 16, then you have to get through 30 days of Level 2 Probation, then serve the remaining 14 days of Level 1. If you go up to Level 3 on day 10 of the same Level 2 Probation, then you have to complete the 30 days of Level 3, then the remaining 20 days of Level 2, before finishing the last 14 days of Level 1
Level 1 Probation
While on Level 1 Probation, if the User breaches the Code of Conduct, they will face the Result of a Stage 3 and its ban period of 48hrs automatically. Even if they are just Stage 1-2 Results normally.
Level 2 Probation
While on Level 2 Probation, if the User breaches the Code of Conduct, they will also face the Result of a Stage 4 and its ban period of 72hrs automatically. Even if they are just Stage 1-3 Results normally.
Level 3 Probation
While on Level 3 Probation, if the User breaches the Code of Conduct, they will also face the Result of a Stage 5 and its ban period of 1 week automatically. Even if they are just Stage 1-4 Results normally.
Exceptions to the Rules
A User may be placed on Probation if they commit several breaches of the Code of Conduct during a single month, meaning they bypass Stages of the Results and receive a cumulative sentence instead.
We would also place a high profile/notorious new User straight onto a Level 1 Probation, as although we want Coop Content to be open to anyone who wishes to be part of the community, we also have to protect the site and the company from any potential negative PR backlash.
They would then be able to move out of Probation Level 1 after a month of no issues. They would then receive Stage 1 results like anyone else. Examples would be: PewDiePie, iDubbz, JonTron, Keemstar, Jake and Logan Paul, Rice Gum, etc.
We would also place ALL Creators involved in the “culture war”, “current events analysis”, and “activism or politics” straight onto Level 1 Probation, but they would not be able to leave Probation by consistent adherence to our Code of Conduct.
Examples would be: Count Dankula, Sargon of Akkad, Dave Rubin, The Young Turks, Steve Shives, Kevin Logan, Chris Ray Gun, Lacy Green, Destiny, The Quartering, etc.
This is because, as per our mission statement, we don’t want to be a part of the politicisation of businesses. We’re here to provide a service to our customers, and not all of them are interested in politics, thus they should not be forced to be part of or suffer any effects from it.
A business should be non-partisan, and if Users want to become partisan, then they will be monitored more closely and face harsher repercussions than those who are politically neutral. That said, we do not believe in withholding service from anyone based on their ideas, ideals, beliefs, opinions, religious views, or political alignment.
So as a compromise, we’d still like these Users to Sign-Up and use our services if they wish to, but we ask that they understand our possible risk in their doing so, and accept the precautions outlined above. We would also like to apologise in advance for any frustration or inconvenience this may cause.
However, we would also be willing to allow these Users back onto the site after a suitable and negotiated form of Recourse. Again, this would be on a case by case basis, making perma-ban just an extended suspension until a resolution could be reached between all parties affected.
This form of Recourse could also be negotiated by a user simply on a temporary ban at any Results Stage or Probation Level. Though, as stated above, it would have to be worked out between Coop Content and the offending party, if not the aggrieved party and potentially any Jury members who were highly involved.
Review by Jury
This is basically a trial by peers on the site. We are intending to implement this privately, by contacting a randomly selected sample of 100 Users, and providing them with an anonymised evidence packet. Their collective decision, which will require a minimum of a 10% majority one way or the other to be considered substantial, will then be taken into account as part of our investigation.
We may look to do this publicly, with the intent of getting a nearly whole site opinion of the evidence, if a case becomes so high profile that it is impossible to keep private. That said, this would only be done if all the parties involved agree that it would be better to go public than remain private, as it may become the case that most Users are already aware of the situation and are voicing opinions already.
When a Report reaches the Recourse stage and a User is not happy with the Results offered by Coop Content, they can request to go straight to a Jury for their case. Although potentially offering the User a perceived advantage, this would also automatically use up their Quick Review (24hrs) and Extended Review (48-72hrs) options for Recourse at that stage.
We include this option as it should be a User’s right to request a trial, essentially. However, just like in the real world, by jumping straight to trial, they forfeit their right to complete the company’s standard processes. Just like any regulatory body and court would enforce really.