Healthy Engagement and Communication
A Respectful Community
Compliance with Laws and Ethics
The Trust and Safety Professional Association (TSPA) is an organization that works to advance the trust and safety profession through a shared community of practice. We support our members by developing networking spaces, highlighting and sharing their body of knowledge, and sharing educational resources to help them grow within their profession. We are a diverse community that spans geographies, career levels, and backgrounds. We learn from and with each other through listening and teaching. We are working to build an equitable community where everyone can belong. We strive to be authentic in all our engagements and communication. We expect everyone who participates in TSPA to share these values.
The work of trust and safety professionals is often challenging and difficult as they address some of the most pressing and most challenging multidisciplinary issues in online trust and safety. In bringing this community together, we strive to create an environment of trust, safety, and respect. When members of our community feel welcomed and safe, they will also feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and knowledge, asking questions, and acknowledging what they do or do not know. We expect our members to treat each other with respect and nonjudgement. We want TSPA staff, members, partners, supporters, and other stakeholders with whom we engage to have safe and positive experiences, in an environment where our members feel safe, emotionally and physically.
The code of conduct applies to all TSPA spaces, which include, but are not limited to:
- Online or offline events, such as TSPA conferences, panel discussions, roundtables, meetups, and mixers.
- Collaborative workspaces or chat groups, such as TSPA’s Slack, TSPA’s Google Suite, TSPA’s social media channels (Twitter, Clubhouse, LinkedIn).
- Any communication (digital or analog) carried out in the context of TSPA business.
This code of conduct applies to the TSPA community, which includes, but is not limited to:
- TSPA staff, board, and advisors
- Individuals with whom TSPA and members engage in the course of TSPA activities, spaces
Healthy Engagement and Communication
We do not expect our members to agree on everything; in fact, we believe that differences of perspectives and opinions are necessary for individual learning and growth and to promote innovation and creativity within TSPA, the trust and safety profession writ large, and our broader communities. We expect members to aim for positive, civil discourse that is constructive and informative, with the understanding that our diversity makes us stronger.
Healthy tension in collegial discussion can help us grow as a community, but unhealthy conflict can result in a chilling effect. To make this community as welcoming as it can be for all, we expect the following from our community.
Be Open To Learning
- We encourage members of the community to be intellectually curious. Ask questions.
- Be ready to listen and engage. Try to be mindful of any preconceived judgment or assumptions.
Support Each Other
- Help each other out. We’re all working on the same sorts of problems, and the more we share our ideas and compare our approaches, the better off everyone will be.
- Encourage others to participate. Bring other people along into the conversation, and create space for others to share ideas. Do not dominate conversations or engage in behaviors that prevent others from participating.
- Do not disparage other teams’ and organizations’ approach to their work. It’s a small world, and nobody feels good when someone’s dumping on their work.
Recognizing Structural Bias and Inequities
TSPA was built to be an inclusive and community-focused organization. Ensuring that members feel welcome and comfortable participating is the cornerstone of our code of conduct, and we’ll always prioritize it. There may be times when unexamined perspectives on structural bias or other inequities compromise community trust and result in conflict or disagreements.
Below are examples of conflicts that may arise due to lack of awareness, privilege, and unconscious bias.
- Invocation of “Reverse”-isms: Claims of “reverse”-isms include allegations of “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia.”
- Tone policing: Feeling that someone’s “tone” isn’t appropriately congenial or agreeable while they are calling out bias/prejudice or voicing concern about an issue.
- Discomfort with boundary communication: Discomfort when someone communicates their boundaries in a way the listener perceives as rude, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
- Discomfort with discourse on structural bias: Someone calling out the existence of racist, sexist, cissexist, ableist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.
When made aware, TSPA will work to address the situation to ensure that members feel welcome and work to increase recognition of structural bias and inequities. We will engage in conversations with the individuals to increase awareness of privilege and unconscious bias.
We want those in our community to be who they are and act in good faith by being authentic and truthful about themselves and their work. Members should be truthful about their professional affiliations, (whether in the capacity of employment, consultant, or investment capacity) and the work they’ve done. TSPA membership is held by an individual, not a company; therefore, members represent themselves and their perspectives.
Additionally, TSPA’s spaces are meant for professional development, education, and peer support. We want members to build professional relationships with one another and not feel pressure to market their company’s product or be sold a product.
The following are inauthentic behavior that could result in action from TSPA:
- Impersonating another individual or role.
- Say you work for an organization you don’t.
- Taking credit for someone else’s ideas or work, including plagiarizing.
- Sharing or making copies of someone else’s work product without approval or consent.
- Using TSPA’s spaces to fundraise, market, or sell a product, tool, or service.
A Respectful Community
As a community building organization, it is critical that those in our community behave with respect towards each other. Below are areas of conduct and the expected behavior from the TSPA community.
Privacy and Confidentiality
In order to foster trust and protect others’ personal safety, we expect those in our community to respect others’ privacy and, where requested or legally required, adhere to confidentiality.
Members are expected to adhere to implicit and explicit confidentiality expectations when engaging in TSPA’s activities, events, or networking spaces. For example, if a meeting is operating under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) or any other participant may be revealed. When communicating with other members in a members-only space, such as a members-only Slack space, information discussed there should remain among members only and not be shared externally. If you are unsure of the confidentiality expectations at an event, discussion, or space, ask TSPA staff.
In addition, TSPA maintains a high level of confidentiality over its members’ personal information because trust and safety professionals can be at risk from people who feel they may have been treated unfairly due to the decisions or actions taken by the professional’s workplace.
The following are behaviors that could violate members’ privacy and confidentiality and could result in action from TSPA.
- Sharing personal information of other members without the consent of that member. Personal information includes: name, contact details (email, phone number, address), membership status, current or former employer, location, or other personally identifiable information.
- Doxxing: Do not publicly share private and personal information of anyone in the community.
- Intellectual property infringement: Do not take or share screenshots or screen recordings of TSPA virtual or in-person events, website pages, and/or online communication spaces without the consent of TSPA. Similarly, do not share other TSPA community members’ work without permission.
- Violating confidentiality agreements, such as sharing information that was disclosed in a confidential discussion.
Members of the TSPA community shall not make harmful or prejudicial comments related to race, color, caste, ethnicity, immigration status, national origin, religion or faith, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, lower socio-economic status, age, weight or size, pregnancy, veteran status, or any other attributes or characteristics. Such behaviors could result in action from TSPA, including revoking membership or banning from TSPA events or activities.
Harassment, Bullying, Threats, and Violence
Members of the TSPA community shall not engage in behaviors such as intimidating, stalking, or threatening other individuals in the community. Behaviors such as assault, damage to others’ property or person, or other behaviors with the intent to harass or harm are prohibited. Such behaviors could result in action from TSPA, including revoking membership or banning from TSPA events or activities.
Unwelcome sexual or romantic attention, contact, behavior, or advances are inappropriate. Nonconsensual sexual contact or sexual assault is prohibited. Such behaviors could result in action from TSPA, including revoking membership or banning from TSPA events or activities.
Members of the TSPA community should not inhibit the normal flow of business with disruptive behavior.
Disruptive behavior could result in action from TSPA and includes the following:
- Repeatedly sending irrelevant or spammy content through TSPA communication channels.
- Distributing nude or sexual content, violent and gory content, hate speech, etc. outside of the context of a trust and safety discussion. (See next section on “Sensitive Content.”)
Due to the nature of the work, there may be times when trust and safety professionals need to share, discuss, or debate material that is offensive or harmful. We expect members to engage in these discussions with respect and empathy. Where possible, TSPA will try to apply content warnings to let people know that they may encounter sensitive topics and content (written, visual, or audio) in TSPA discussions, documents, or other material. Depending on availability and context, content warnings could take the form of interstitials, labels, or verbal warnings.
When sharing or discussing content that is sensitive, members of our community are expected to inform others that what they are sharing may be sensitive content. The following topics are examples of sensitive content:
- Adult sexual content
- Animal cruelty or abuse
- Child abuse
- Death and dying
- Drug or other substance abuse
- Excessive violence or gore
- Mental illness
- Miscarriages or abortion
- Physical, mental, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual abuse
- Pregnancy or childbirth
- Self-harm behavior, including disordered eating
- Sexual assault
- Suicide or suicidal ideation
Compliance with Laws and Ethics
Members of the TSPA community should not engage in illegal or unethical behavior and comply with all applicable laws and regulations when engaging in TSPA events, activities, and spaces. Compliance with applicable laws and ethics is the responsibility of the individual.
TSPA does not play a role in the competitive decisions of its members or corporate supporters. TSPA does not attempt to influence the trust and safety policies or operations of its corporate supporters, nor does it force corporate supporters or individual trust and safety professionals to adhere to uniform positions or standards espoused by TSPA.
TSPA members engage on an individual, professional level. They are not representatives nor do they speak on behalf of their companies while engaging with the TSPA community. TSPA does not encourage members to share information, collude, or encourage any particular business practice.
Security and Encryption
TSPA’s communication platforms, including email, Slack space, website, Memberclicks site, Google workspace, may not support end-to-end encryption. Members should not share documents or information that require end-to-end encryption through TSPA’s communication platforms.
Illegal content or behavior is prohibited on TSPA’s communication platforms and workspaces. Although there may be times when TSPA members may discuss illegal content (e.g., CSAM), it is imperative that the content itself stays out of TSPA channels.
Employer Compliance and Guidelines
TSPA doesn’t have insight into codes of conduct or other compliance requirements set out by members’ employers or profession. Members are responsible for making sure that they never engage in activity that could put their employer or employment at risk.
- Read, understand, and comply with your employer’s antitrust policy, data use policies, and privacy policies.
- Do not reveal or exchange information that violates your terms of employment, such as sharing trade secrets or internal-only documentation that hasn’t been approved for circulation.
This code of conduct was updated as of March 1, 2022. Please contact us if you have any questions about this code of conduct.