March 15, 2022 T&S Newsletter

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T&S Early Warning News

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

Digital Human Rights Need a Single Home in U.S. Government

Foreign Policy | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Digital authoritarianism - the use of information technology by authoritarian regimes to surveil, repress, and manipulate domestic and foreign populations—is on the rise. In China, the Great Firewall and other systematic tools of digital oppression define the norms of public and private discourse. In Turkey, Wikipedia was banned for nearly three years before the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the ban was a violation of freedom of expression. In Myanmar, a military coup has instituted nightly internet shutdowns. The Washington Post, as part of the global Pegasus Project, has uncovered widespread abuse of spyware technology to monitor dissidents.

The list of such abuses of the human right to participate in free and open digital discourse is long. Moreover, the methods of digital authoritarianism are broad: blocking access to the internet, censoring content, flooding the information sphere with disinformation in addition to co-opting social media and other online platforms. These methods are enabled by an array of tools and technologies, including surveillance, censorship, social manipulation, cyberattacks, and targeted online persecution. Technologies such as artificial intelligence vastly expand the reach of these tools.

While authoritarian regimes have always tried to tightly control their people, the modern means by which we communicate bring new and frightening dimensions. What is equally disturbing is that democratic governments, including that of the United States, have been for the most part observers of digital oppression.

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Russia Bans Instagram Access for 80 Million Users

Inside book | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Instagram

At midnight, Russia officially cut off access to Instagram, banning the platform for much of the country’s population. The ban comes just days after Moscow vowed to restrict access to the photo-sharing app in retaliation for Facebook parent company Meta’s decision to allow calls for violence against Russian soldiers on its platforms.

On Friday, Instagram users in Russia were given a 48-hour grace period by Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzorto and told to transfer their photos and videos from Instagram before the ban went into effect at midnight Sunday, when they would no longer be able to access their accounts.

“We need to ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online,” Roskomnadzor said, explaining why the platform was being shut down.

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SIU professor aims to prevent fraud caused by ‘sock puppet’ social media accounts

News.Siu | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

“Hey everyone, don’t accept anything from me. It’s not me!” How many times has a message like this come across your social media feed? A researcher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is working on technologies to stop “sock puppet” requests that can lead to profile hacking, identity theft and other havoc for social media users.

Sajedul Talukder, assistant professor in SIU’s School of Computing and director of the Security and Privacy Enhanced Machine Learning Lab, has received a $158,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiative to investigate ways to prevent “sock puppet” connection requests, which are false online identities and user accounts created for deceptive purposes.

Talukder aims to build a digital framework rooted in cognitive psychology, user-centric research and machine learning methods to defend against such accounts and requests in online social networks. The work will begin in April and last at least two years.

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AARP says Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has declared social media a “Gold Mine” for scammers

Bullrunnow | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

According to AARP the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has declared social media a “Gold Mine” for scammers after consumers reported losing $770 million in social media scams in 2021. That was double the amount of reported losses from 2020 – and we know fraud is severely under-reported, so the real losses are likely much higher.

The top three social media scams in 2021 were investment scams (many related to cryptocurrency), romance scams and shopping scams peddling counterfeit goods or not shipping anything at all.

According to the FTC, criminals are able to use the information we provide about ourselves on social media sites to target us with ads for fake products. The relatively low cost to advertise on these sites also makes it easier for crooks to cast a wider net.

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Russian government accounts are using a Twitter loophole to spread disinformation

The Conversation | Mar 15, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter, Social Media

In February this year, reports surfaced on Twitter and Facebook that the Ukrainian government was undertaking a mass genocide of civilians. Around the same time, conspiracy theorists began saying Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was an agent of the “New World Order”.

These claims have been thoroughly debunked, but not before attracting millions of views and offering a purported justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More recently, Russian and Chinese officials have claimed the United States has funded bioweapons research in Ukraine.

Social media has played a crucial role in the spread of these and other false claims. We have identified a network of dozens of Russian government Twitter accounts using a loophole in the platform’s rules to run a coordinated program of disinformation.

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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

China plans to extend game restrictions on minors; live streaming and social media under scanner

News 9 Live | Mar 15, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

On Monday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released a draft document named 'Regulations on the Protection of Minors on the Internet' gaming companies, live streaming platforms and online video and audio content providers to create a "youth mode" for minors who use their services.

Apart from creating a youth mode, such companies are required to follow relevant Chinese regulations and standards in terms of use period, duration, functions and content, etc. Meanwhile, they are also required to provide time, authority and consumption management features for guardians of such minors "to perform guardianship duties."

The draft rules mandate that online live broadcast service providers should not allow minors under the age of sixteen to create live broadcast publisher accounts and further establish a 'dynamic verification mechanism' for the real identity information of online live streamers.

Online service providers in China would be required to regulate and "reasonably limit" the single consumption amount and the single-day cumulative consumption amount of minors in the use of online products and services.

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Social media ‘censorship plan’ for South Africa is on the way

Businesstech | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Less than two weeks after president Cyril Ramaphosa approved the Films and Publications Amendment Act, South Africa’s Film and Publications Board (FPB) is already dealing with its first major test case.

The Amendment Act, which came into effect from 1 March 2022, significantly expands the FPB’s mandate, migrating it from a simple classification authority to a fully-fledged regulator, with the legitimate powers to issue and renew licences (certificates), accredit distributors and impose fines, in case of non-compliance.

The Act also gives the FPB power to regulate almost all online content published in South Africa – not just the movies and television it has previously regulated.

The regulator has also confirmed that it is now developing new guidelines about what can be shared on social media platforms.

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South Africa regulator refers Meta to tribunal over dominance

Economic times | Mar 15, 2022

Company Listed: Meta

South Africa's Competition Commission on Monday said it had referred Facebook and WhatsApp owner Meta Platforms to a tribunal for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market.

But a spokesperson for WhatsApp said the regulator was objecting to actions meant to protect the platform's users from abuses of WhatsApp's terms.

In a statement, the regulator accused Meta of "abusing its dominance by engaging in exclusionary conduct geared at preventing competitors or potential competitors from entering into, participating, and expanding in a market"

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British Government continues legislate for online safety and security - including new digital ID plans

Dominica | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The British Government is continuing to put forward legislation that aims to improve security and safety for citizens online. diginomica has previously outlined how plans to tighten up the proposed Online Safety Bill were put forward recently, following claims that it didn’t go far enough to protect people, and now new legislation has been proposed to make digital identities more secure.

The Online Safety Bill and digital identities are two separate pieces of legislation, but they point to a broader theme of how the British Government is thinking about safety, security and privacy online. One of the key objectives of this administration is to make Britain ‘the safest place in the world to be online’.

However, that’s not to say the government has not faced any backlash. Its attempts to campaign for limiting the use of end-to-end encryption have received huge criticism from privacy campaigners (rightly so) and a parliamentary committee recently said that the Online Safety Bill wasn’t robust enough to tackle illegal content, nor was it sufficient enough to protect freedom of speech (in essence, worst of both worlds).

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Cybersecurity strategy proposes framework to combat adversarial narratives on social media

Hindustantimes | Mar 15, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The new cybersecurity policy, which has been in the works for over two years, proposes a multistakeholder framework to check propaganda, deception, disinformation, and adversarial narratives on social media, people familiar with the matter said.

The National Security Council Secretariat has conceptualised the National Cyber Security Strategy, 2021, which has been pending with the government for over a year. The policy stresses a need for a legislative framework to address the emerging challenges in the technology space.

“The idea is to have a multi-stakeholder organisational framework wherein a suitable mechanism can be enacted for blocking malicious content,” one of the people cited above said. “There is a need to operationalise a mechanism to check adversarial narratives against the country considering how anti-national actors take to social media to create an ecosystem that can propagate them.”

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T&S Good News

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

Google Rolls Out Air Raid Alert Feature For Android Phones In Ukraine

Techbooky | Mar 14, 2022

Company Listed: Google

Following the Russian-Ukraine unrest, Google has released updates on various services and assistance for the safety of Ukrainians. This move comes after Google Maps’ real-time traffic data were disabled in the country. Among other ongoing efforts, Google announces that it’s enabling a rapid air-raid alert system for Android phones in Ukraine.

According to a post by Google’s president of global affairs, Kent Walker, that says “At the request and help of the Ukrainian government, we have begun rolling out a rapid air raid alert system for Android phones in Ukraine.” This rapid Air Raid alert is said to be natively built into the users of their Android phones in Ukraine. This isn’t the first time search giant Google is releasing features that has a direct impact on people, recently Google released an open-source anti-harassment tool for women. The tool is geared at helping women journalists, public figures and activists, especially those covering controversial topics or living under autocratic governments, manage online abuse.

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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.

Manager, Software Engineering- Trust & Safety Team

Indeed | Remote, OR, USA

Posted: Mar 15, 2022

  • 5+ years of experience in leading software development with a consistent track record of on-time delivery for large, cross-functional projects

  • 3+ years of people management and direct coaching of developers, helping them improve their skills and grow their careers

  • The ability to guide a team to achieve goalstogether

  • The desire to solve tough problems with quality software at scale

  • Weget excited about candidates who have experience in the moderation, fraud, or risk space and are ready to wear multiple hats in our agile environment, whether that means product thinking, project management, or dataanalysis

  • For positions that can only be performed at an Indeed office, candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present acceptable proof of vaccination by the date of hire as a condition of employment

  • For positions that require some in-office work or in-person client meetings, exceptions to these in-office or in-person job requirements may be made at the discretion of the business through June 2022, at which point full vaccination will be required

  • To qualify as being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 there should have been a two week period after receiving the second dose (or any government recommended booster shot) in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or a two week period after receiving a single-dose (or any government recommended booster shot) in a single dose COVID-19 vaccine

Product Manager, Developer Trust & Safety - App Store

Apple Inc. | Cupertino, CA, USA

Posted; Mar 14, 2022

  • 4-6 years of experience developing products for identity, abuse and fraud detection, and related policies in a product management role

  • Ability to operate seamlessly between highly detailed and technical situations as well as strategic business situations

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills; thrives in highly collaborative projects, effective at building consensus, handles high stakes decisions with ease, and ability to navigate ambiguity

  • Strong analytical skills, ability to identify key opportunities and measure impact to drive improved customer experiences

  • Extraordinary oral and written communication skills; ability to become fluent in technical concepts and explain to executives and non-technical partners

  • Very strong storytelling and Keynote presentation skills Description

Engineering Manager, Trust and Safety, Google Play Games

GOOGLE INC. | Mountain View, CA, USA

Posted: Mar 14, 2022

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent practical experience.

  • 5 years of experience with software development in one or more programming languages (eg, Python, C, C++, Java, JavaScript).

  • 3 years of experience in a technical leadership role; overseeing projects, with 2 years of experience in a people management, supervision/team leadership role

  • Master's degree or PhD in Computer Science or related technical field.

  • 3 years of experience building and developing large-scale infrastructure and/or distributed systems.

  • 3 years of experience working in a complex, matrixed organization.

  • Experience with using machine learning and or windows development, in an anti-abuse setting

Training Lead, Scaled Operations, YouTube Trust and Safety

YouTube | San Bruno, CA, USA

Posted: Mar 14, 2022

  • Bachelor's degree in Education, Instructional Design, a related field, or equivalent practical experience.

  • 10 years of experience managing and deploying training programs.

  • 10 years of relevant work experience.

  • People management experience.

  • Experience in consulting, on-boarding, managing cross-functional projects with delivery and impact at scale in organizations.

  • Experience in collaborating and influencing stakeholders (i.e. vendor teams) for driving product/policy solutions at scale.

Child Safety Business Intelligence Analyst Trust And Safety Jobs

Google | New York, NY, USA

Posted: Mar 14, 2022

  • 4 years of experience in computer intrusions or digital crimes investigations and Internet based fraud/abuse.

  • 2 years of experience in Operations, Systems Management, Project Management, or Process Improvement.

  • Experience querying datasets using SQL and building dashboards.

  • Excellent problem-solving and strategic thinking skills.


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 to improve your hiring chances and start doing meaningful work that helps people.