T&S Early Warning News
Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.
Repeated rape threats’: Sexual violence and racist abuse in the metaverse
Independent | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: Meta Facebook
Sexual harassment exists in all walks of life and the 3D virtual reality simulation that is the metaverse is no exception. However, experts warn the immersive, all-consuming nature of virtual reality means sexual violence has even worse repercussions than harassment in other digital landscapes.
Nina Jane Patel, a psychotherapist who conducts research on the metaverse, has first-hand experience of sexual violence in the virtual environment. The 43-year-old mother-of-four recently revealed her “surreal nightmare” of being “gang raped” in virtual reality.
“You are literally stepping into a 360-degree digital environment,” Patel tells The Independent. “Because virtual reality has been designed to be as real as possible, it is similar to inviting someone into your living room, so the violation feels more acute than it would feel on a social media platform.”
Facebook suspends Powerhouse Science Center’s social media account
The Durango Herald | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: Facebook Meta
Hours before the Powerhouse Science Center was scheduled to host a presentation about COVID-19 on Tuesday on Facebook, the nonprofit realized its social media account had been suspended.
Executive Director Jeff Susor said Facebook suspended the page based on reports that the Powerhouse was in violation of Facebook’s policies that prevent spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
The Powerhouse was scheduled to present the last of a three-part series about the virus, vaccines and misinformation surrounding the pandemic. The third session, about the current state of COVID-19, was going to feature Liane Jollon, executive director of San Juan Basin Public Health, which serves La Plata and Archuleta counties.
Susor said a small but vocal minority of people have been hounding the Powerhouse over its COVID-19 presentations. He said he has received emails – all from the same group of half a dozen people – saying that Susor and Powerhouse staff members “don’t know what science is.”
“‘You don’t understand that the COVID vaccine is killing tens of thousands of kids,’” Susor said, summarizing the messages he’s been receiving.
Official Olympic coverage tells us who wins. TikTok tells us everything else.
The Washington Post | Feb 17, 2022
Company Listed: TikTok
The judges at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing score ice dancing pairs based on difficulty, execution and artistry. But 34-year-old TikTok user Dani Mahrer is mostly interested in whether the athletes are in love with each other.
They’re not making a lot of eye contact,” the account manager at a renewable energy company in Los Angeles comments over one clip of U.S. pair Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue performing their rhythm dance program. “Perhaps that’s because it’s just too much.”
TikTok, a Chinese social media app that shot to popularity in the United States in 2018, earned a reputation as the place for behind-the-scenes Olympic content during the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo. Now, at the Winter Olympics, viewers are flocking to watch less polished videos on the social media platform, whether that’s athletes getting their daily throat swabs for covid, robots disinfecting hallways or facial recognition technology able to identify athletes with their masks on. TikTok has plenty of glimpses into life at the Olympics — along with some weirder content from athletes and audiences.
Online Harassment, Real Harm: Fixing the Web's Biggest Bug
US News | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: Social Media
It should have been a time of celebration: Brittan Heller would soon graduate from college and head to one of the nation's top law programs. But when a classmate with unrequited feelings for Heller wasn't admitted to that same school, he turned his rage on her. He wrote a manifesto titled “A Stupid B---h to Attend Yale Law School” and posted it on a site popular with anonymous trolls. The man urged them to do their worst.
Soon strangers were making derogatory, sexualized comments and posting her pictures online. They made threats. Posted her personal information. At one point, FBI agents escorted Heller to class for her protection.
“People say, ‘Oh, just log off. Don’t read it. Turn off the computer,’” said Heller, who turned her personal experience from 15 years ago into a legal specialty as a leading expert on online harassment. “This the 21st century, and people have a right to use the internet for work, for pleasure or to express themselves. Telling people not to read the comments is no longer enough. We don’t talk enough about this problem, and we need to.”
Online harassment has become such a familiar part of the internet that it can be hard to imagine the web without it. From teen cyberbullying to authoritarian governments silencing dissent, online toxicity is a fact of life for everyone, with women, teens and religious and racial minorities the most likely to be targeted.
T&S Policies & Regulations
Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.
Senators introduce bill to limit harmful effects of social media on young people
ABC News | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: Social Media
Legislators on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting children from the potentially harmful impacts of social media.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., came as Congress held five hearings on the dangers of social media for children and teens aged 16 or younger in recent months, including one at which a whistleblower who testified against Facebook -- now Meta -- about internalized documents that showed the tech giant prioritized profits over the mental well-being of children.
While the senators would not comment on the likelihood of the bill passing, they emphasized during a press conference on Wednesday that there is bipartisan support for it in the House and the Senate.
What we're doing in this bill is empowering those children and their parents to take back control," Blumenthal said. The social media platforms have proven they are not going to regulate themselves. Because of that, we have put the effort into how do we make certain that this is a safer environment," Blackburn said Wednesday.
US Lawmakers Propose Bill To Impose Platform Content Moderation
PYMTNS | February 16, 2022
For the last few years, and after numerous events that showed the potential harmful effects that content posted on social-media platforms can have on individuals and communities, regulators around the world have been turning the spotlight on how to make sure that Meta, TikTok, Twitter and others step up their content moderation efforts.
The testimony of France Haugen against Facebook, who revealed how the company tolerated certain content even if there was evidence of the harmful effect on teenagers, was probably the trigger for policymakers to start drafting or concluding legislation.
Europe recently approved the Digital Service Act (DSA) that will hold Big Tech companies accountable for the illegal content posted in their platforms — they will be required to put in place mechanisms to ensure the content is removed in a timely fashion. Even content considered legal, but harmful, should be quickly removed.
The U.K. is also proposing new legislation, the Online Safety Bill, with similar requirements to the European DSA, but adding new criminal offences to the bill to ensure that companies do their best to guarantee that harmful content is removed.
Georgia bill’s supporters say it targets discrimination by social media companies
AJC.com | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: Facebook Meta, Twitter
A Georgia Senate panel Tuesday passed a bill that would allow people to sue social media companies if their posts are removed or altered because of the views they express.
Supporters say Senate Bill 393 would prevent Facebook, Twitter and other companies from censoring conservative political views — a common complaint of Republicans at a time when social media platforms have deleted thousands of false or misleading posts about election fraud, COVID-19 vaccines and other topics.
Critics say the bill would make it harder for social media companies to police harmful content such as bullying, racism, hate speech and spam.
The bill, its supporters say, would treat the platforms like telephone companies, railroads and other “common carriers” whose services are so vital that they should be limited in their ability to discriminate against customers. They said the companies would still be able to ban pornography and other unlawful content.
T&S Good News
Some of the good news in the T&S industry that leaders want to know
TikTok removes account bullying St. Louis middle schoolers after action from FOX 2
Fox2 | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: TikTok
TikTok account using Parkway West Middle School’s logo with the account name “@parkwaywestmiddleschool” has been taken down for violating the platform’s policies against bullying.
The district confirmed it knew about the account and had reported the account to TikTok last week, but it wasn’t until FOX 2 got involved that the platform took down the account.
On Tuesday, FOX 2 emailed TikTok’s media department regarding the account. Within about two hours, all videos were taken down from that account. But, it wasn’t taken down before garnering more than 20,000 views from three videos, which used real students’ names.
The principal of Parkway West Middle School sent a letter to families Friday titled “Help Needed,” that read it part: “We continue to have social media issues with students posting mean and hurtful comments about other students. These posts are negative and contain bullying content. Please take time to talk with your students about healthy uses of social media.”
TikTok rant lorry driver fined for using racist language
BBC | Feb 16, 2022
Company Listed: TikTok
A lorry driver whose rant against an NHS worker was viewed more than 1m times on TikTok has been fined for using racially abusive language.
Nicholas Clayton, 51, was filmed when Adnan Hussain confronted him for using slurs during an argument at a set of traffic lights.
Mr Hussain, a British citizen, said the trucker also told him to "get back to your own country".
Clayton denied the charge but was convicted by magistrates in Sheffield.
Mr Hussain said he had gone to the demolition firm where Clayton worked to make a complaint about his use of language at the traffic lights.
In a section of the resulting confrontation, recorded by Mr Hussain, the driver is heard to remark "I can do what I want" when challenged about his use of racist language. The video of the row in Grimesthorpe last February was shared thousands of times online and viewed by more than 1.2m people on TikTok.
T&S Careers & Jobs
T&S jobs posted recently, often within the last 24 hours, looking for top talent.
Indeed | Austin, TX, USA
Posted: Feb 17, 2022
Experience working in a high volume queue based environment
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Able to deliver clear and succinct interpretations of data in a manner accessible to all relevant Indeed teams
Self-starter, intellectually curious and comfortable operating in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
Ability to quickly identify patterns and trends across seemingly unrelated content
Capability to validate and explain trends and results compared to outlined success metrics
Mustbe organized, positive, proactive, and results-oriented
Strategic thinker with strong analytical and creative problem-solving skills
Cloudflare | Raleigh, NC, USA
Posted: Feb 16, 2022
8+ years experience in a Trust & Safety or customer support role at an Internet service provider or hosting provider processing abuse reports and time sensitive escalations
4+ years experience managing a team effectively with a strong desire to help others learn and grow
2 + years experience managing a largely remote team
Experience working with law enforcement and legal requests for customer information
Experience in assessing, analyzing and resolving issues, and distilling into communication
Experience with analytics and experience solving problems using data and providing practical business insights
Snap | Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posted: Feb 17, 2022
Excellent verbal and written communication skills Minimum qualifications: 8 years of experience in consulting, operations, or related experience managing special projects Preferred qualifications: Experience working in Trust & Safety, security and safety, law enforcement, compliance, or a related field Bachelor's degree in business, criminal justice, political science, sociology, public administration, international relations, computer science, or another related area of study Experience in Design Thinking projects Experience using Agile Project Management Methodology Process driven individual with a proven track record of identifying gaps and implementing new processes Experience analyzing data to understand business challenges and trends using Looker or Tableau Not afraid to roll up your sleeves to get the job done, no type of work is “beneath” you Able to work independently while also operating as a collaborative team player Experience managing a growing team Experience collaborating with internal and external stakeholders at all levels of the company A passion for Snapchat and online safety At Snap, we believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices working together will enable us to create innovative products that improve the way people live and communicate. Snap is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and committed to providing employment opportunities regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please don’t be shy and contact us at accommodations-extsnap.com . Job Info Type: Full time Location: Los Angeles, California, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California, Mountain View, California
YouTube | San Bruno, CA, USA
Posted: Feb 16, 2022
Bachelor's degree or equivalent practical experience.
Experience in operations such as scaled or sales operations, vendor management, or process/organizational improvement.
Ability to speak and write in Brazilian Portuguese fluently.
Experience in the misinformation or elections space, specifically in Brazil, Mexico, or other Latin American markets.
Experience with SQL and spreadsheets.
Experience identifying abuse trends or working in news or policy with a focus in international issues, including freedom of expression, online controversial content, misinformation, cyber crime, etc.
TikTok | Nashville, TN, USA
Posted: Feb 17, 2022
Minimum BA/BS- 3+ years of work experience in Trust & Safety, operational, or risk management role- Led a team of 5 to 7 people- Demonstrable experience in product development, project management, and/or system implementations- Proven ability to develop sound research methodologies and collect, synthesize, analyze, and interpret data- Strong attention to detail highly self-driven and results-oriented- Experience working with international partners in different time zones- Previous work experience of building a completely new team/site - Travel domestically (LA office) to meet other stakeholders
What is T&S?
Great question (and one the industry hasn’t fully agreed upon). Think of Trust & Safety as the organization that protects social media and Big Tech companies and users from online abuse. As long as users are able to generate content online, time has told us that a minority of these users will create content that is offensive, scandalous, fraudulent, disingenuous, misinformative, hateful, spiteful, and harmful. T&S fights this with flexible policies, resilient operations, and informed detections.
Is T&S interesting?
That depends. If you enjoy stopping bad actors and keeping good people safe, then you’ll love T&S. It requires understanding new technologies and staying on top of breaking issues across society and the world. It also pays Big Tech salaries (no coding skills required).
How do you get into T&S?
That’s the tricky part. The short answer is: not easily. Most T&S orgs are part of Big Tech and (as a result) pay extremely well, so jobs are highly competitive. If you don’t know someone in the industry who can help refer you in, then you can learn more about T&S policies, current events, issues, regulations, and jobs at trustsafetyinstitute.com to improve your hiring chances and start doing meaningful work that helps people.