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4 Steps to Build Your Trust and Safety Team

By Katie Zigelman

The success of your marketplace app hinges on a positive user experience. Building a trust and safety team to provide content moderation and protect customers from malicious users will not only create a positive user experience but increase user trust in your brand. Your trust and safety team will protect user data and serve as a force against spam, scams, fraud, harassment, and other unpleasant interactions. If you aren't quite sure where to begin, we have provided four steps to hire and build your trust and safety team for your marketplace app to guide you.

1. Evaluate Your Trust and Safety Needs

Before you throw a team together, spend some time to evaluate your company's needs. It's likely you have specific threats or risks which concern you. Similarly, what safety struggles have been brought to your attention by customers or employees. Once you have a handle on what types of problems your trust and safety professionals needs to solve, you will have a better idea on how big of a team to build and what types of roles you wish to include.

Related Reading: Discussing Trust & Safety in the World of Instantly Shareable Videos

2. Appoint or Hire a VP and a Director of Operations for Trust and Safety 

These two positions will be the foundation of your trust and safety team. The Vice President of Trust & Safety will be the public face of the team, who creates and implements policies for user safety, set broad guidelines for community behavior, and establishes protocols for crisis situations. The Director oversees day-to-day operations of the team which includes interpreting, monitoring, and enforcing guidelines and protocols established by the VP.

If you hire outside of the company for these positions, look for a VP who has a background in law or public policy. The Director might have to lobby state and federal agencies, making this kind of experience valuable to their position. Whether an internal hire or an external hire, you director needs to have experience managing teams of people which should include the evaluation of staffing needs, overseeing major projects, and setting a budget.

3. Hire Moderation and Crisis Response Team

Your moderation and response team are the worker bees of your trust and safety team. Depending on the size of your company, you might choose to have two separate teams, or appoint a select few of the moderation team to handle emergencies and high threat level situations. Some companies choose to have their moderation teams in-house, while others outsource or blend approaches depending on what works best for the company.

In either case, your moderation team will address, and sometimes investigate, all user complaints. This includes escalating complaints to the appropriate level and implementing the proper consequences, such as banning a user for spamming others. If you have a large company, you might choose to create a separate investigation team.   

Related Reading: Why Use AI for Content Moderation

4. Hire a Trust and Safety Engineering Team 

Effectively protecting users from threats and data breaches requires creating and implementing the right technology. Your engineering team will build, test, and launch safety features in response to customer complaints which paint a need for specific features. Your engineering team will work closely with your product development department or team.

Before launching a new marketplace app, the engineering team will ensure the new product adheres to all trust and safety guidelines. Depending on the size of your company and whether or not you are a startup, you might consider hiring an engineer or two soon after you appoint or hire your VP and Director. It might be that you need safety features added or bugs worked out before launch, which means you can hold off on your moderation team until you are ready to launch your app. 

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