Trust & Safety Professional Association Launches: This Is Important

from the exciting-news dept

One of the most frustrating things out there is the idea that content moderation choices made on various platforms are coming directly from the top. Too often, I've seen people blame Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg for content moderation decisions, as if they're sitting there at their laptops and twiddling their fingers over who gets blocked and who doesn't. Over the last decade or so, an entire industry has been built up to figure out how to make internet services as usable as possible, to deal with spam, and abuse, and more. That industry is generally called "trust and safety," and as a new industry it has grown up and professionalized quite a bit in the last decade -- though it rarely (if ever) gets the respect it deserves. As I mentioned on a recent episode of The Pivot podcast, many of the assumptions that people make about content moderation unfairly malign the large crew of people working in trust and safety who aren't interested in political bias, or silencing voices, but who legitimately are working very, very hard to figure out how to balance the many, many tradeoffs in trying to make internet services useful and welcoming to users.

That's why I'm really happy to see a new organization launch today, the Trust & Safety Professional Association, along with a sister organization, the Trust & Safety Foundation.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the Trust & Safety Professional Association (TSPA) and the Trust & Safety Foundation Project (TSF).* TSPA is a new, nonprofit, membership-based organization that will support the global community of professionals who develop and enforce principles and policies that define acceptable behavior online. TSF will focus on improving society’s understanding of trust and safety, including the operational practices used in content moderation, through educational programs and multidisciplinary research. Neither TSPA nor TSF are lobbying organizations, and will not advocate for public policy positions on behalf of corporate supporters or anyone else. Instead, we will support the community of people doing the work, and society’s understanding of it.

And I should note that the people behind this organization are incredible. If you told me about such an organization and asked me to suggest who should be involved, I would have included exactly the people who put this together, starting Adelin Cai and Clara Tsao, who both have tremendous experience in the trust and safety space, and the knowledge and thoughtful, balanced approach necessary to build organizations like the two launched today. If you ever need someone to talk through all the challenges to think through in building a successful trust and safety team, I'd highly recommend both Adelin and Clara. The board also includes some names you may recognize, including Professor Eric Goldman, former Twitter/Google lawyer and White House deputy CTO Alex Macgillivray, and former Mozilla Chief Legal Officer/COO and current Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle Dixon.

And... one of the initial projects that the Trust & Safety Foundation has launched is an ongoing series of trust and safety case studies written by... us. Techdirt's think tank arm, the Copia Institute, will be providing a series of trust and safety case studies to the Trust & Safety Foundation, which they'll be posting each week. We'll eventually be posting many of them to Techdirt as well, so you can expect those coming later this summer. The point of this library of case studies is to give people a better understanding of the impossible choices and tradeoffs that internet services need to make on a daily basis, and to highlight why what often seems like an "obvious" way to deal with some piece of content may not be so obvious once you explore it from all sides. Personally, I'm excited to get to help build out this library and to work with such a great team of people who are devoted to improving and professionalizing the space, while further educating everyone (both inside and outside the trust and safety space) how trust and safety efforts actually work.

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Filed Under: case studies, content moderation, education, professional association, trust & safety, trust and safety
Companies: copia institute, tsf, tspa


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    tz1 (profile), 17 Jun 2020 @ 4:00pm

    So

    Just support Democrats, and its okay to say you want to kill all white people like Sarah Jeong and you can be part of it. They will still have ambiguous Terms of Service enforced entirely arbitrarily by far lefties that voted for Bernie and held their nose then totally melted down when Hillary didn't win. Just ban everyone who is or has ever been pro-Trump right now and be done with it. You aren't about "trust and safety", you are about purging anyone not far to the left of Joe Rogan, Tim Pool, and Jordan Peterson. I don't see ANYTHING in the material about diverse political points of view or rational discussion. Just a bunch of subjective stuff that will be judged by the CHAZ/CHOP residents and those who think burning and looting are not violence but expression, but think expression or even silence is violence. At least it is now out in the open.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 4:06pm

      Re: So

      wut?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2020 @ 4:25pm

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 6:37pm

        Re:

        You are such a clueless idiot, Stone. He was making a quite coherent point, any idiot could understand it and appreciate it and promote it and give it a prize and a monetary award and public recognition and forward it to Bill Barr and Donald J. Trump and recommend it for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I have one. You don't. Clear enough?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Code Monkey (profile), 17 Jun 2020 @ 5:34pm

      Re: So

      What, and I mean this in all sincerity, the absolute fuck??

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 6:39pm

        Re: Re: So

        It's NOT hard to UNDERSTAND. He was making a VERY CLEAR point and I Forwarded His Analysis to my personal friend Dan Bongino. Dan has been a little down, you leftie assholes gave him a Stomach Ulcer and when he ate Fatty Fish he had to Bend Over the Toilet while simultaneously Writhing in PAIN which is what I do every time I read your STUPID SHIT on this STUPID SITE frequented by Phony Pony idiots like YOU!

        Clear enough?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 10:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: So

          So the more you read the higher chance of your ulcer dissolving you from the inside?

          I can't see a downside to this, honestly. Here, have something else to read:

          Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email, and he lost to a fake Indian, Elizabeth Warren. Oh SNAP!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Jun 2020 @ 4:50pm

    Membership Resources

    This sound like a really excellent idea. I hope, however, that amonst their activities they find a way to support those in the trenches and are suffering from the form of PTSD that comes from their being directly exposed to some of the crap they have to make decisions on. This could be by finding and listing resources local to their membership (in their various locals), or even instigating such resources (which might be referrals to professional counselors, or groups where they can just get things off their chest, a la AA). Showing such concern for the difficult job the membership is dealing with would go a long way toward gaining loyal followers. At the same time, it would educe recognition as to the conditions their members work in.

    Along those lines, exposing a spectrum of the things they deal with to the public could help enormously. There are a few Senators and members of the Executive Branch (not to mention several Techdirt Troll Clowns) that could use some help in understanding what moderators do and are faced with. Elucidating what actually happens might also go a long way toward calming claims of bias. Unless they are under some kind of non disclosure agreement I think there is a great possibility that some exposure of what happens (where platforms won't) to what, and why certain decisions are made could enlighten even those who will deny even the facts relayed, as they will be taken as fake news, so some documentation would be appropriate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Code Monkey (profile), 17 Jun 2020 @ 5:38pm

      Re: Membership Resources

      I applaud the idea. It does sound like quite an undertaking. I look forward to seeing how the TSPA progresses.

      Best of luck.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 6:51pm

      Re: Membership Resources

      Elucidating what actually happens might also go a long way toward calming claims of bias.

      Right. Elucidating. Might. Be. A. Word. That. Says. Exactly. Nothing. At. All. In. Your. Bullshit. Post. But. Sounds. Nice.

      Elucidate for us now. Elucidate ANYTHING AT ALL other than your BULLSHIT monologue and EMPTY VACUOUS argument and then CENSOR MY POST and then KISS MY ASS you leftie clown.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 8:24pm

        Re: Re: Membership Resources

        Elucidate: Verb, to make lucid by explanation or analysis.

        In English, it means to clarify.

        How the person above wasn't being clear to you when they expressed their hopes for this association in shining a light on ensuring moderators have professional help on standby and what they deal with on a daily basis is baffling. Your response is either trollish or you genuinely cannot empathize with people who are not yourself in which case, I urge you to seek some help of your own.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2020 @ 6:33pm

    The Respect it Deserves

    though it rarely (if ever) gets the respect it deserves.

    You globalist idiot assholes get more respect than you deserve. You hide behind your legal bullshit opinions and paid posters and phony pony names and idiotic recommendations and deserve to be SHOT full of BETTER ideas and BETTER politics and BETTER moderation and LESS censorship and MORE Great American traditions, values and points of view.

    Amen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JustARandomCommenter, 18 Jun 2020 @ 5:14am

    Good News

    Looking forward to the United Lab (UL) type listing for website operations from these trust safety professionals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Code Monkey (profile), 18 Jun 2020 @ 12:44pm

    New AI software????

    I'm wondering if the ass clown who is commenting incoherently and profanely (thus getting flagged) is using this platform to try out some form of AI-generated comment shitpost??

    It's NOT hard to UNDERSTAND. He was making a VERY CLEAR point and I Forwarded His Analysis to my personal friend Dan Bongino. Dan has been a little down, you leftie assholes gave him a Stomach Ulcer and when he ate Fatty Fish he had to Bend Over the Toilet while simultaneously Writhing in PAIN which is what I do every time I read your STUPID SHIT on this STUPID SITE frequented by Phony Pony idiots like YOU!

    Just sounds fake

    ....#FakeTroll

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Its Rogsed, 21 Jun 2020 @ 10:55am

      Re: New AI software????

      What a,paranoid, discrediting rant you are,spewing.

      Maybe, stoo flagging these people, and let the "masses” decide for themselves? Oh, so Not-Techdirt!

      But people like you are inherently “anti-democratic,” deploying tribal sectarians first, and AI/Moderator/FBI-bots after the fact.

      Infragard, and you, suck dicks and dog nuts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Its Rogsed, 21 Jun 2020 @ 10:22am

    re: attribution errors

    Yeah!

    THIS: I've seen people blame Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg for content

    I saw lots of folk blame Hitler for shit too. Leadership is a bitch.

    Mike, your cognitive dissonance is (predictable)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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