Trust and Safety

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 Trust & Safety Resources Programs and Processes Team 

Trust and Safety (T&S, formerly Community Advocacy, SuSa, Support and Safety) identifies, builds and – as appropriate – staffs processes which keep our users safe; design, develop, and execute on a strategy that integrates legal, product, research, and learning & evaluation to proactively mitigate risk as well as manage the overall safety of our online and offline communities when incidents happen. Trust and Safety comprises part of the Community Engagement department and works closely with the Legal team. We aim to provide compassionate, credible, and comprehensive Trust and Safety services to the Foundation and the volunteer communities and affiliates it supports but much of our time is also just spent "fire-fighting".

What we do[edit]

The Trust and Safety team supports staff, the public and volunteers in our community through approximately 11 workflows in three broad areas. The team is composed of two sub-teams: Policy and Operations. You can found more details in our current annual plan.

Trust and Safety[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation aims to defer to local and global community processes to govern on-wiki interactions. However, at times, we must step in to protect the safety and integrity of our users, our contributors, and the public. We support a healthy environment on our projects through several work areas. Among other measures, we receive and handle reports of major safety issues on Wikimedia projects, including suicide threats, threats of violence, and child pornography. We also own the policies regarding Wikimedia Foundation bans of users from the projects and from Foundation-funded or supported events, and we work with other Foundation teams to address concerns about user privacy and freedom that do not necessarily rise to the level of bans.

As a part of the Foundation’s commitment to respect community autonomy, the Trust & Safety team does not handle general community or community-member disputes that may be addressed through community processes, nor does it serve as an appeal venue for community-made policies and decisions. While we are happy to assist community members in need of help, many times that help will consist of assisting the person to find the right community venue to solve their problem.

Regular workflows include:

  • Evaluation and reporting: Child pornography reports, Emergency@Wikimedia
  • Global & Event bans: Requests, inquiries, investigations & maintenance
  • AffCom support: Assist the Affiliations Committee as appropriate in relation to Trust and Safety matters
  • Identification and access rights for community
  • T&S database management: mandatory and best-practice record-keeping

Direct community support[edit]

In close collaboration with Audiences and Legal as part of the Community Health Initiative, projects undertaken by the Policy team include researching harassment and behavioral issues – conducting discussions with contributors and stakeholders, and analyzing data on how various Wikimedia communities handle issues. We have also developed multiple training modules on best practices for dealing with online harassment and on event safety, and worked with the Community Resources team to streamline these for use at in-person events.

Other regular workflows include:

Internal support[edit]

We provide guidance, advice and support to Foundation staff, the Board, and committees. We assist staff routinely with community and content related concerns, including processing DMCA takedown and notification requirements and, where necessary, responding to search warrants and legally valid subpoenas. We help onboard new staff about community norms and practices, and we manage requests for advanced user rights required for staff members to do their work by assessing needs and liaising with the stewards.

Regular workflows include:

  • Supporting Executives: the Executive Director, the Executive Office, Jimmy Wales.
  • Liaison work: to the election committee, the cross-wiki Ombudsman Commission, the Code of Conduct Committee, and other WMF teams.
  • Supporting the staff: Advanced privileges and user rights for staff, community on-boarding
  • Legal support: DMCA takedown and notification requirements, search warrant and subpoena compliance