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February 18, 2022 T&S Newsletter



Early Warning | Policy & Regulations | Good News | Jobs & Careers | T&S FAQs

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T&S Early Warning News

Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.


Social media giants are 'profiting from abuse' in pet cruelty videos, charity warns after video of footballer Kurt Zouma kicking his cat went viral

DailyMail | Feb 18, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Facebook Meta

Cats Protection claims platforms such as TikTok and Facebook are 'normalising abuse' by allowing the publication of harmful content as entertainment.

It comes after millions of Britons were horrified by a video of West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma kicking his cat.

The charity said some videos can be amusing and harmless, but others show 'very real pet abuse'.

It cited TikTok hosting thousands of videos of users putting sellotape on a cat's feet to film their distressed reaction, donning masks to film a petrified response or forcing ears into tight headbands.

Nicky Trevorrow, of Cats Protection, said: 'Animals are not here for our entertainment...The level of psychological trauma and extreme stress being inflicted on them is vast.'

She added: 'The more users are exposed to this type of content, the more they are desensitized to increasingly worse forms of animal abuse.'

Read more

Teenage boy sentenced after harassing BBC reporter Aileen Moynagh

BBC News | Feb 17, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter, Facebook Meta


In September 2021, the 17-year-old admitted harassing BBC News NI's Aileen Moynagh over a five-month period.

The boy, who has a range of complex disorders, cannot be identified because of his age.

After the sentencing, Ms Moynagh said: "Today marks the end of a long and difficult journey."

"I've waited for this day and dreaded it in equal measure because, regardless of the outcome, there are no winners," she added.

The Dublin teenager appeared at the city's Children's Court on Thursday.

The court previously heard he had an "obsessive crush" on the Belfast-based journalist and was previously cautioned for similar approaches to RTÉ journalists.

The offences took place on dates between October 2020 and February last year.

The court heard the teenager had used up to 40 aliases on the internet and had been barred from Twitter about 150 times.

During Garda (Irish police) interviews, he admitted he had an obsessive compulsive interest in some female journalists.

Read more

Twitter opens access to anti-abuse tool for millions of users

Branequity | Feb 17, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Read more


Defunding disinformation

Cosmos Magazine | Feb 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, Google and Facebook Meta


There are a variety of motives for people to peddle misinformation. The Russian government put disinformation to work as part of their expansionist geopolitical aims. The Chinese Communist Party uses it to further entrench their political authority and grow their global influence. Professional influence operators do so as guns for hire on behalf of business and industry, ranging from oil to tobacco to big pharma and many others. Trolls on platforms such as 4chan often do it in service of pure nihilism.


But by far the most common and compelling motivation to spread online disinformation is profit, and it’s led the world to a veritable disinformation crisis.

The biggest global companies are those who provide the machinery to capture and monetise audience attention at scale. Today’s internet is powered by businesses that capture and profit from “clicks and eyeballs”.


Who provides the money for this machine? Sometimes, audiences are monetised through merchandise sales or solicitation of direct donations. Most often, the cash comes from advertising. Advertisers subsidise the web to the tune of more than US$400 billion ($556 billion) a year in digital ad spend. They pay into a complex ecosystem dominated by two outsized ad tech platforms – Google and Facebook (which each take a sizable commission) – and their money ultimately makes its way to content creators and publishers on the open web.


Read more


YouTube to Update Sharing Features to Prevent Videos With Misinformation From Going Viral

TechTimes | Feb 17 ,2022

Company Listed: Youtube


On Feb. 16, YouTube outlined its new plans to tackle misinformation on the platform. Stopping misinformation before it goes viral, addressing misinformation in languages other than English, and limiting cross-platform sharing of misinformation are the three areas of focus, according to YouTube's chief product officer, Neal Mohan. YouTube's attention to cross-platform sharing would limit views of videos that are seen as problematic under the platform's current misinformation guidelines


The video streaming company says adjustments to its recommendation system have reduced the consumption of these borderline videos, but traffic from other sites embedding and linking to these videos remains a problem.

The possible fixes include disabling the share button on the platform or breaking links to videos that have already been suppressed on YouTube.

Warnings that a video could include misinformation are another possible fix and something that the platform employs for graphic and age-restricted content.

In order to stop misinformation from spreading, YouTube is considering larger and more knowledgeable teams and partnerships with non-governmental organizations and local experts.

The platform may also add new labels to videos on emerging, fast-developing topics like natural disasters.


Read more


T&S Policies & Regulations

Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.

Compare and review T&S Policies for dozens of companies here

Sex for rent' ads to be banned in Online Safety Bill

BBC News | Feb 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media


Offering housing in exchange for sexual favours is already against the law.


But there has only been one prosecution under current legislation, despite claims the practice is on the rise.

The government says it will bring in new laws to curb "sex for rent" ads as part of its Online Safety Bill, which aims to crack down social media abuse and harmful content.

Minister for Safeguarding Rachel Maclean said the bill will "capture user-to-user sites, where the majority of 'sex for rent' advertising takes place".

A list of offences to be made a priority in the legislation, published earlier this month, includes "controlling, causing or inciting prostitution for gain". Sex for rent will be further tackled in the bill by placing "a duty on certain companies to take action in respect to 'content that is harmful to adults'", Maclean says, in a written answer to a question from Labour MP Barry Sheerman.

One student who had fled an abusive home and had nowhere to live, said she felt she had no other option but to agree to the arrangement.

In response to that investigation, then-Justice Secretary David Lidington said "sex for rent" deals were already a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Crown Prosecution Service guidance was updated to reflect this in January 2019.

Read more

The censorious Online Safety Bill baffles liberal Tories

NewstatesMan | Feb 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media


Nadine Dorries and Priti Patel want to fix the internet. It certainly needs fixing — no one who has spent more than five minutes online in the last few years could have missed the problems of misinformation, radicalisation, abuse and electoral interference.


The internet enables more serious crimes, too: despite Kwasi Kwarteng’s protestations earlier this month that online fraud isn’t a “day-to-day” crime, it devastates the finances and lives of thousands of Brits every year. The internet also enables the illegal drugs trade and the distribution of images of child sexual exploitation.


It should come as no surprise, then, that the government is seeking to pass its Online Safety Bill. We should, at an absolute minimum, expect the same rights and protection online as we do in the offline world. Given the current global backlash against Big Tech, there are very few people indeed who would say that governments should do absolutely nothing to regulate the internet.


But the Online Safety Bill is a curious beast. It is a grab bag of policies, some of which have now outlasted multiple prime ministers. It includes a requirement for age verification for pornographic content, first passed under David Cameron, then introduced (and quietly shelved) under Theresa May, and now coming back to parliament under Boris Johnson.


Read more


Google introduces privacy-centric initiative for ads

ArabNews | Feb 18, 2022

Company Listed: Google


Google has announced that it is starting a multi-year initiative to change the way it tracks people and allows advertising targeting on the web and Android devices.


Titled the “Privacy Sandbox,” the initiative aims to introduce newer and more private advertising solutions, Anthony Chavez, vice-president, product management, Android Security & Privacy, said in a blog post.


“Specifically, these solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID,” he wrote.


An advertising ID is a unique code assigned to each user that helps build a profile of the user, which in turn is used for ad targeting. Google had already started making changes to the advertising ID to improve privacy and security, but phasing it out entirely indicates a complete overhaul to how users are targeted.


The web version of Privacy Sandbox will phase out third-party cookies and limit covert tracking.


Read more


T&S Good News

Some of the good news in the T&S industry that leaders want to know

Microsoft, Meta tackle harassment in virtual worlds

TechTarget | Feb 17, 2022

Company Listed: Meta Facebook, Microsoft

Microsoft and Meta, formerly Facebook, are enforcing personal space in their virtual worlds to prevent groping, harassment and other unwanted sexual advances between avatars.

This month, Microsoft launched the anti-harassment protections for its AltspaceVR platform and Meta for its Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues VR. The safety measures include stopping avatars from getting uncomfortably close.

"Safety within the environment must be part of the foundation," wrote Alex Kipman, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, in a blog post. "We have a responsibility to establish guardrails."

The protections will become particularly important if Microsoft expects to eventually make virtual reality commonplace in its collaboration tools for business, which is hypersensitive to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Read more

T&S Careers & Jobs

T&S jobs posted recently, often within the last 24 hours, looking for top talent.

Check out all the recent T&S job postings here.

Senior Product Manager - Trust And Safety

Apple | California, USA

Posted: Feb 18, 2022

  • The successful candidate will be self-motivated, analytically minded, have exceptional written and verbal communication skills, and experience with trust and safety initiatives

  • Education & Experience Bachelor's Degree or equivalent education Additional Requirements

Product Manager, Trust and Safety Experiences

PlayStation | San Francisco, CA, USA

Posted: Feb 18, 2022

  • 3+ years’ experience in product planning / management capacity

  • Confirmed experience building phenomenal online safety products or working to build safe online communities

  • Experience in building highly usable software experiences related to customer feedback and notification

  • Understand specific challenges to online safety seen in the online gaming domain

  • Knowledge of the regulatory landscape around online safety

  • Ability to absorb and make decisions based on many different types of information (quantitative and qualitative user/consumer/market research, technical and design trade-offs and schedule implications)

  • BA/ BS Degree or equivalent


Trust and Safety Team Manager

Amazon.com, Inc. | Herndon, VA, USA

Posted: Feb 18, 2022

  • 2+ year’s previous leadership experience in a supervisor or manager type role, preferably in contact center operations

  • Demonstrated history of progressive performance management of a team of 8-10 employees

  • Proven experience with Web Technologies and the Internet (preferably website hosting or building)

  • 1+ year experience in a fast paced Customer Contact Center or IT Help Desk environment working within trouble ticketing/tracking systems

  • Project management experience

  • Experience with AWS technologies

  • Demonstrated history of improving customer experience / contact interaction through feedback


Trust and Safety Associate

Amazon Web Services | Seattle, WA, USA

Posted: Feb 18, 2022

  • 1+ year of technical experience working with computer systems and technology components

  • 1+ years of experience in a fast paced customer support environment

  • General knowledge in one or more technology domain areas (e.g., cloud computing, internet, network, software, systems, email servers)

  • Proven working knowledge of networking technologies and security concepts (ie

  • phishing, SPAM, malware, other common technology security

issues)


Program Management Officer (Pmo) - Risk And Response

TikTok | Mountain View, CA, USA

Posted: Feb 18, 2022

  • You have 3-5 years working experience in cross-regional project management

  • You have demonstrated critical thinking and problem-solving abilities

  • You have excellent teamwork spirit, strategic and courageous leadership skills

  • You are strong in communication and collaboration with others


Software Engineer - Trust and Safety

Apple Inc. | Austin, TX, USA

Posted: Feb 17, 2022

  • Must Have:. 2+ years software development experience in industry, with source code management tools like git

  • Established programming skills in Scala, Java, Python, or similar language

  • Ability to communicate software designs to others

  • Excellent social, written, and verbal communication skills

  • Curiosity, passion for learning, high personal integrity, and a dedication to improving the Apple customer experience

  • Experience with end-to-end ownership of projects (may include academic projects) and confidence to make key decisions independently

  • Experience developing software that runs on cloud services (AWS, Google Cloud, or similar)

  • Familiarity with Spark, Hive, Hadoop, and SQL. Experience working on distributed systems


T&S FAQs

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.