DTSP Comments on the Initiative to Protect Youth Mental Health, Safety & Privacy Online

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP) filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in response to their request for comment on Kids Online Health and Safety.

Read the comments here.

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the NTIA request for comment (RFC) on the Initiative To Protect Youth Mental Health, Safety & Privacy online. DTSP shares the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of preventing and mitigating any adverse health effects while preserving the benefits that digital services have for the health and wellbeing of young people and society at large.

Our partnership brings together providers of diverse digital products and services around shared commitments to trust and safety, and a framework of best practices and assessments grounded in the experience of practitioners. Current DTSP partners are listed on our website. Please note that our submission is intended to complement those provided by partner companies, as well as the wide range of industry and multistakeholder collaborations and initiatives that focus on the safety and wellbeing of young people.

This response focuses on the state of industry practices for trust and safety overall, which support and enhance approaches intended to support the health and safety of minors. Where relevant, we also provide information on other DTSP initiatives that may be useful to NTIA as it considers further actions to protect youth mental health, safety, and privacy online. In particular, we highlight findings from our recent report on guiding principles and best practices for age assurance.

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Welcomes Match Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP), a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet, today welcomed Match Group as its newest partner.

DTSP brings together a diverse range of innovative digital companies, representing various products, sizes and business models. Match Group joins DTSP’s growing list of participating companies, which also includes Apple, Bitly, Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Twitch, and Zoom. 

“We are pleased to join the DTSP where together we can unite on our collective efforts to help ensure a secure digital ecosystem for all,” said Rory Kozoll, Senior Vice President, Central Platform and Technologies for Match Group. “The safety of our users across our platforms is essential, and we are committed to continuing this important work and collaborating with experts and partners in our industry and beyond.” 

The partnership is committed to developing industry best practices, reviewed through internal and independent third-party assessments, to ensure consumer safety and trust when using digital services. 

DTSP launched in February 2021 to mature and professionalize the trust and safety field, in pursuit of a safer and more trustworthy internet. Since then we have: 

For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org. Members of the press can contact the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership at press@dtspartnership.org.

About The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership:

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership is a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet. The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership includes Apple, Bitly, Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Match Group, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Twitch, and Zoom. For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org

About Match Group:

Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), through its portfolio companies, is a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. Our global portfolio of brands includes Tinder®, Match®, Hinge®, Meetic®, OkCupid®, Pairs™, PlentyOfFish®, OurTime®, Azar®, Hakuna® Live, and more, each built to increase our users’ likelihood of connecting with others. Through our trusted brands, we provide tailored services to meet the varying preferences of our users. Our services are available in over 40 languages to our users all over the world.

DTSP holds Open Forum at the 2023 Internet Governance Forum

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP) will be at the 18th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, in Kyoto, Japan, from October 8 to 12, 2023. The Forum’s overarching theme is: The Internet We Want – Empowering All People. DTSP executive director David Sullivan and head of outreach and engagement Farzaneh Badiei will be in Kyoto and look forward to meeting with interested stakeholders from the global internet governance community.  

DTSP is holding an Open Forum, “Unlocking Trust and Safety to Preserve the Open Internet,” on Wednesday, October 11 at 2:45pm JST, (WS 11 – Room J). At the forum, IGF in-person and remote participants can learn more about DTSP and the role of trust and safety with regard to internet governance. The interactive roundtable discussion will feature the following panelists:

  • David Sullivan, DTSP
  • Nobuhisa Nishigata, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Japan
  • Tajeshwari Devi, Online Safety Commission, Fiji (virtual)
  • Angela McKay, Google
  • Brent Carey, Netsafe (virtual)
  • Kyoungmi Oh, OpenNet Korea

As a co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety, David Sullivan will also speak at the session, “Enhancing Digital Safety: The World Economic Forum Global Coalition’s Collaborative Approach,” on Monday October 9 at 1:10pm JST (WS5 – Room B2).

Finally, DTSP will also have a display booth at the IGF Village, where we encourage interested stakeholders to meet with us and learn more about our work.

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Releases Guiding Principles and Best Practices for Age Assurance 

WASHINGTON — Today the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet, unveiled a new report identifying guiding principles and best practices for age assurance online. 
 
The report describes a range of best practices — specifically, five guiding principles for age assurance and three dozen examples of best practices in line with those principles.
 
“Providing age-appropriate online experiences is a key component of digital trust and safety. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — different providers and products for users with very different expectations will need to adopt different approaches to age assurance,” said DTSP’s Executive Director David Sullivan.
 
“Every approach to age assurance presents trade-offs. More accurate methods may require more collection of user data, or potentially lead to inequitable outcomes for users’ ability to access online products and services,” he continued.
 
DTSP has identified overarching age assurance principles and practices that may be deployed as part of the overall DTSP Best Practices Framework. Because there is no single solution, the specific practices that services use may vary by digital product or feature and evolve with both the challenges faced and advances made in age assurance technologies, as well as with evolving regulations. The Partnership hopes that by presenting this framework, we can help support effective practices across the digital ecosystem.
 
For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org. Members of the press can contact the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership at press@dtspartnership.org.

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Releases Inaugural Trust & Safety Glossary of Terms

Today the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership released the inaugural edition of its Trust & Safety Glossary of Terms.

This is the first industry effort by technology companies, representing various products, sizes, and business models, to develop a common Trust and Safety lexicon.

“By defining common terms used every day in the trust and safety field, we’re taking a practical step toward consistency, clarity, and transparency with the goal of making this work more legible to a range of readers, including digital service users, tech company employees, and anyone else interested in learning more about how trust and safety work gets done,” said glossary Editor-in-Chief and DTSP advisor Alex Feerst.

The Trust & Safety Glossary of Terms consists of more than 100 terms across four categories:

  • content concepts and policies;
  • common types of abuse;
  • enforcement practices; and
  • Trust and Safety technology.

The glossary has been updated to incorporate valuable input received from academic organizations, industry partners, regulators, and other global stakeholders during the public consultation held earlier this year. Updates made since the consultation include shorter definitions accompanied by bulleted commentary, a format that is designed to increase the usability of the document while providing a place for context and examples that address the complexity of certain terms.

“Instead of sitting on a virtual shelf, our goal for the glossary is for it to be a useful resource for trust and safety professionals and those who are engaging with them in pursuit of safer and more trustworthy digital products and services,” said DTSP Executive Director David Sullivan.

DTSP will share more information about how the glossary was developed and how we responded to comments received during the public consultation in a forthcoming publication.

Workshop Summary: Implementing Risk Assessments Under DSA

The EU Digital Services Act (DSA) is built on years of conversations and experimentation around how best to identify and control risks associated with digital content and services. The DSA recognises and seeks to support the steps that many platforms have taken voluntarily over the last 15 years, including expanded transparency reporting, robust content moderation, and increasingly mature approaches to human rights due diligence. Recognising the positive potential of these and other rights-enhancing mechanisms, the DSA seeks to ensure that they are applied more broadly, consistently, and effectively across the online ecosystem. This substantive continuity is reinforced by the DSA’s open architecture, which leaves room for, and in some cases explicitly encourages, opportunities for intermediaries, civil society, researchers, auditors, dispute resolution bodies, and others to engage with each other and with regulators to understand and improve digital services.

In the spirit of this openness, on 24 and 25 May 2023, the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership (DTSP) and the Global Network Initiative (GNI) invited our respective company members to join with a wide range of academic and civil society experts in conversation around the risk assessment provision of the DSA (Article 34). The conversations were conducted virtually and spread over two, 150 minute workshops, in order to maximise participation across key time zones.

The purpose of the workshops, supported by the BrainBox Institute, was to facilitate input from civil society experts about how companies can understand and undertake risk assessment and design risk mitigation as laid out under the DSA, as well as for civil society to hear questions, concerns, and ideas from companies.

For further details, please see the event Agenda and Reference Material below:

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Welcomes Twitch

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP), a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet, today welcomed Twitch as its newest partner.

DTSP brings together a diverse range of innovative digital companies, representing various products, sizes and business models. Twitch joins the DTSP’s growing list of participating companies, which also includes Apple, Bitly, Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, and Zoom.

The partnership is committed to developing industry best practices, reviewed through internal and independent third-party assessments, to ensure consumer safety and trust when using digital services.

DTSP launched in February 2021 to mature and professionalize the Trust and Safety field, in pursuit of a safer and more trustworthy internet. Since then we have:

  • released our first set of common Trust & Safety commitments, articulating the 35 Best Practices our members are using to keep consumers safe;
  • implemented a first round of Safe Assessments, evaluating the trust and safety practices of partner companies;
  • developed a Glossary of Trust & Safety Terms for public consultation;
  • participated in events with peer organizations across the United States, Europe, and Asia;
  • engaged extensively with experts from industry, governments and civil society.

For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org. Members of the press can contact the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership at press@dtspartnership.org.

About The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership is a first-of-its kind initiative focused on promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet. The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership includes Apple, Bitly, Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Twitch, and Zoom. For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org.

Connect with DTSP at RightsCon

The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership will be at RightsCon 2023, in Costa Rica and online.

The 12th edition of the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age, RightsCon brings together experts and advocates from civil society, governments, and technology companies. DTSP executive director David Sullivan and head of outreach and engagement Farzaneh Badiei will be in San José and look forward to participating in the following sessions:

  • For trust and safety online, can practices make perfect?
    Wednesday June 7, 2023 | 9 – 10am CST
    • In-person roundtable with speakers from Discord, PEN America, and the Centre for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information. More information here.
  • Beyond social media: the conundrums of moderation elsewhere in the stack
    Thursday June 8, 2023 | 10:15 – 11:15am CST
    • Co-hosted with Zoom and featuring speakers from Cloudflare and the Center for Democracy & Technology. More information here.

Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Launches Consultation on Trust & Safety Glossary of Terms

Today the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership released a Trust & Safety Glossary of Terms for public consultation.

This is the first industry effort by technology companies, representing various products, sizes, and business models, to develop a common Trust & Safety lexicon.

“Conversations about a safer internet need a common language so we can rely on shared definitions of the challenges we face and the varied approaches to addressing them,” said Glossary Editor-in-Chief and DTSP advisor Alex Feerst. “We’re grateful for everyone’s contributions, and look forward to continuing feedback on where there’s consensus and where there’s still work to do.”

The draft glossary consists of more than 100 terms across four categories: 

  • content concepts and policies; 
  • common types of abuse; 
  • enforcement practices; and 
  • Trust & Safety technology. 

An early draft was shared with interested Trust & Safety practitioners at TrustCon, the first global conference dedicated to the field’s professionals, and it has benefited from robust input from DTSP’s membership.

“Our mission is centered on identifying, developing, assessing and implementing Trust & Safety best practices. Without a common lexicon for those best practices, it’s hard – if not impossible – to make measurable progress toward a safer and more trustworthy internet,” said DTSP ED David Sullivan.

The Partnership is seeking input from stakeholders on the glossary terms and welcomes comments from industry, civil society, governments, including policymakers and law enforcement, experts from academia, and other interested parties. Feedback can be provided via online form, or by email to consultation@dtspartnership.org before March 15, 2023.

DTSP Unveils Inaugural Evaluation of Trust & Safety Best Practices

WASHINGTON – Today the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP) unveiled its inaugural evaluation of how ten leading technology companies–Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Meta , Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, Shopify, Twitter, and Vimeo–are adhering to Trust & Safety best practices. 

The report reveals key findings on Trust & Safety practices that are well-developed across the companies and those areas that are still evolving.  Many companies reported a mature state of development for core content moderation practices, such as building teams responsible for establishing, updating and enforcing the rules of their services. Several of the practices rated as least mature, on the other hand, related to engaging the perspectives of users and external organizations in Trust & Safety, including human rights groups and academic researchers. concern engaging the perspectives of users and external organizations. The area where most improvement is expected in the future is integrating Trust & Safety into product development from the beginning.

“We’re encouraged by the initial results of the Safe Assessments and very interested to see specific documentation of where digital companies have been successful and where they can invest more efforts to combat harmful content and conduct,” said DTSP’s Executive Director David Sullivan. “This is just one step in the cycle, and we’re looking forward to building on this progress within companies and as an industry.”

Last year, DTSP released the Safe Framework for how participating companies’ Trust & Safety practices will be assessed. This inaugural evaluation of the Safe Assessments provides a benchmark for a future independent assessment, along with policymakers, stakeholders, consumers and the companies themselves. DTSP is already working with experts with a deep understanding of both Trust & Safety and assessment frameworks to move forward on an independent, third-party assessment.

“Though Trust & Safety has long been a critical function at digital companies, it has only been in recent years that they have taken steps to mature and organize the field. This includes increased dialogue with external stakeholders on these issues, which DTSP helps to facilitate at an industry-wide level,” said Sullivan.

The inaugural report, based on internal company assessments, synthesizes the results of the Safe Assessments conducted by ten DTSP partners in the first half of 2022. Participating companies that have joined the organization more recently will participate in a future cycle of assessments. 

DTSP continues to engage with global policymakers, subject matter experts and users to review and improve the Best Practices Framework and other areas of Trust & Safety. This year DTSP has engaged extensively with experts from industry, government, and civil society, holding a series of stakeholder conversations with representatives from 27 countries regarding its approach on how to make the internet safer and more trustworthy.


About The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership: The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership is a first-of-its kind initiative focused on promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet. The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership includes Apple, Bitly, Discord, Google, LinkedIn, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Patreon, Pinterest, Reddit, Shopify, Twitter, Vimeo, and Zoom.  For more information, please visit dtspartnership.org.