1.1 Social Media Policies and Community Standards on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and More

The foundational principles of Athenian democracy included equality, harmony, debate, and general education. In the following activities, you will apply these principles to evaluating how democratic are the community standards, online rules, and user policies found on today's social media platforms

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Activity 1: Evaluate Social Media Community Guidelines

  1. Review the seven features of Athenian democracy to familiarize yourself with the key concepts.
  2. Choose one of the following social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter.
  3. Open up the community standards for your chosen platform.
    1. YouTubeCommunity Guidelines
    2. FacebookCommunity Standards
    3. TikTokCommunity Guidelines
    4. TwitterRules & Policies
      • Pro-tip: These guidelines tend to be long, so use the “find” function (CTRL + F on PC, CMD + F on Mac) to find specific words or phrases.
  4. In a video, podcast, or brief paper, answer the following questions related to how the community standards do or do not uphold the foundational features of democracy:
    1. Does the platform allow all users to post and comment equally, or does it ban certain types of content or actions from the platform? Do you agree with these bans?
    2. How does the platform encourage active dialogue and debate? Does this debate build harmony among users? (harmony means “accepting differences among people”)
    3. Does the platform support citizen wisdom and general education? 
    4. Are the guidelines easy to read or understand? If not, why do you think the standards are written in the way that they are? 
    5. From your own experience on the platform, how effective do you think these guidelines are in maintaining democratic principles and dialogue on the site?
  5. Bonus: Annotate the community standards using Hypothes.is to display your findings/thoughts. 

Activity 2: Assessing, Revising, and Writing School Social Media Policies

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

Assessing, revising, and writing school social media policies by Eliza Kuppens, Ava Mullin, Abigail Ariagno. 

Activity 3: Writing Social Media Posts That Align with Democratic Values

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

Writing Social Media Posts That Align with Democratic Values

Additional Resources 

Connecting to the Building Democracy for All eBook

Building Democracy for All: Athenian Democracy and Democratic Government in the 21st Century - During the Pandemic

Connecting to the Standards


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