This post will consider the social, ethical and legal consideration. This will cover four parts: intellectual property, social problems, community moderation and age restrictions.
The Terms of Service of the LeapIn.it project will mention that content creators can publish their work under Creative Commons licenses . By using these licenses, the users can preserve the copyrights of the content that they are sharing in LeapIn.it system, whether it is a photo, a video, an audio clip or text. There are many types of creative commons licenses that can be specified by the content creators that allow them to grant permissions and state whether their content can be distributed, used commercially or not, and whether it can be used to derive other works or not .
As a result, having Attribution (CC BY) license means that the content can be shared, distributed and commercially used by others only if they give credit to the content creator. In contrast, Non-Commercial licenses (CC NC) allows the content to be consumed for non-commercial purposes only . In addition, No Derives license (CC ND) gives other users the permission to use the original content as it is without deriving other works from it. A Share Alike license (CC SA) lets people derive other works but they have to share it under the same license of the original work . For example, Flickr users are given the option to publish their photos under one or a combination of the above mentioned licenses as shown in Figure 1. Adding functionality that allows the users to select a license for their shared content within LeapIn.it will be considered in designing the system.
Social problems: cyber bullying and spam
Although users will have anonymous identities, the risk of cyber bullying is still present, because the anonymity leads to less accountability for one’s posts, therefore raising ethical challenges in the system. Consequently, one of the design considerations is a way to limit the consequences of any offensive content posted (e.g. should we control comments? And if not would that lead to harassment of other users?).
It will be essential to find a way to limit the amount of spam or inappropriate posts that might appear in the rooms. One example of this is photos of Adidas shoes being posted in a room design designated for Nike shoes. Another social issue to consider is whether anonymity will discourage the creativity of users because some users may want credit for their posts. One possibility is providing other incentives to participate, such as letting users attain rankings based on the quantity and quality of their posts; in turn giving top posters some form of credibility.
Allowing users of LeapIn.it to report inappropriate posts and rate the content that is posted in the system has been discussed. For example, if a post is reported as offensive ten times, then it will be taken down until it is reported as non-offensive by staff members. Another solution is to have a pre-moderation policy where the posts have to be approved, monitored and reviewed before displaying them in the system; however, this option consumes a lot of time and is difficult to apply as it requires staffing.
A solution which is implemented by Facebook and YouTube is to allow users to rate the posts, leading them to appear in different locations in the feed depending on their ratings. Another layer of moderation by non-biased party should be added to limit effect of biased reporting of content. Through this we could hire employees or solicitors to act as community moderators. However, staffing may not be scalable or sustainable because as the usage grows the system gets more posts and costs increase. In addition, it’s possible to use IP addresses or geocoding of users to detect whether the reports come from totally different geographical locations or not. For example, if the reports are coming from the same place, it might be inferred that there is a biased moderation coming from a particular group of users.
No age restrictions are imposed on the users of the system, since rooms might include topics which are of interest to young users. However, there may need to exist some features that allow the content to be moderated by the members of the online community, therefore reducing the amount of posts innappropriate for a younger audience. In addition, since it is not guaranteed that a user will publish a post that is relevant to the topic of a specific room, the following statement will be considered as a disclaimer in the system: “I confirm that I have permission to post this content and that it satisfies the rules of this room.” The Terms of Service of the system will mention that we (the developers and maintainers of LeapIn.it) hold no responsibility over the content that is posted on this system.
 Creative commons. [Online] Available: http://creativecommons.org/about [Accessed: 16 April/2014]
 Creative commons licenses. [Online] Available: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ [Accessed: 16/April/2014]
 Flickr: creative commons. [Online] Available: https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ [Accessed: 16/April/2014].
Edited by Laura Hyrjak
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