The Trust & Safety Professional Association (TSPA) is a 501(c)(6) non-partisan membership association that supports the global community of professionals who develop and enforce principles, policies, and practices that define acceptable behavior and content online and/or facilitated by digital technologies. TSPA works to create and foster a global community of trust and safety professionals, collaborating with them to build a community of practice, and providing support as they do the challenging work of keeping online platforms safe.
The Work of Trust & Safety
As internet communities, online services, and the use of digital technologies to mediate our daily lives and interactions have continued to grow, technology companies have needed to determine the kinds of content and behaviors that are appropriate and those that are not. The teams that handle this responsibility often fall under the general term “trust and safety.” (Visit the Trust & Safety Curriculum’s Key Roles and Functions page to learn more about the different roles and functions that make up trust and safety.) The work of these professionals is critical to the health and safety of the internet and to society at large as well as to technology innovation.
Trust and safety is challenging and difficult work as these professionals address some of the most pressing and complex online multidisciplinary issues, while grappling with global events, navigating evolving technologies and the way people use them, and finding solutions that balance competing interests. Those who do this work are an incredibly diverse group. T&S professionals work for large online services, small startups, and as volunteers; they practice on every continent, from Silicon Valley to Sydney, from Dublin to Dhaka, from Singapore to São Paolo. TSPA was founded in the wake of the 2018 Content Moderation at Scale (COMO) conference in Santa Clara, which was convened by one of TSPA’s founders and board members, Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. During this conference, it became clear that there was a need for more community amongst people who do trust and safety work.
The Work of TSPA
Because online trust and safety is critical to healthy societal interactions, it’s essential to support the professionals who are doing this important work. As a membership organization, TSPA’s carries out its mission — to connect the global trust and safety community and build a community of practice — by focussing on three areas of programming: community building, professional development, and the practice of trust and safety.
Trust and safety professionals often work in silos. One of the greatest benefits that TSPA provides is the opportunity for professionals to connect with one another. TSPA does this through a variety of ways, including networking events, such as Meet & Greets; connecting professionals via TSPA’s Community Slack Space; and at annual events, such as TrustCon.
Unlike more traditional careers, trust and safety professionals don’t have a set trajectory or shared disciplinary approach. Large companies may have an internal career path for their trust and safety employees but smaller companies often don’t. TSPA fills this gap by providing resources, mentoring, and programming to those who want to transition into trust and safety, as well as those who are currently in trust and safety and wanting to know how to grow professionally within this field. Visit our T&S Job Board to see which trust and safety jobs are hiring and the T&S Careers page to learn more about careers in trust and safety. Members also get access to various programming, including networking events and member-only resources.
Trust & safety practice
There isn’t a playbook for trust and safety. (Although we recommend you check out our Trust & Safety Curriculum, written by volunteer authors who define core concepts, terms, and standard practices that make up the “trust and safety” body of knowledge.) Historically, and going forward, those who know the work of trust and safety best are the ones doing that work. Not only is TSPA committed to centering their expertise and knowledge (through various programs such as the T&S Curriculum working group or member presentations), we also develop programming that focuses on the practice of trust and safety. We do this through webinars, topical roundtables, and resources development and curation, such as the T&S Library.
Become Part of Our Community
Join as a member
If you are a trust and safety professional, you can become a member of TSPA. Visit Become a Member for more information about how to join. Please note that currently, only trust and safety practitioners, students aspiring to work in trust and safety, and professionals working in civil society, academia, and nongovernmental organizations whose work focuses on trust and safety can join TSPA. If you are not a trust and safety practitioner but would like to be part of our community, learn more about our sibling organization the Trust and Safety Foundation.
Support our work
Learn more about what we’re up to by subscribing to our newsletter, (Now) Safe for Work. Each month, we update our subscribers about TSPA events and activities, as well as what’s happening in the trust and safety world.
If you are an organization, you can support TSPA and trust and safety professionals by sponsoring our events. For more information about event sponsorships, contact us.
Learn more about our sibling organization, the Trust and Safety Foundation
Healthy and safe online platforms require the collaboration of trust and safety practitioners, technology companies, civil society, government, and academics. The Trust and Safety Foundation (TSF) convenes key stakeholders to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue with the aim of improving society’s understanding and furthering the field of trust and safety.
For more information on how to support TSPA, please get in touch here.
Illustrations by Freepik Storyset