Fostering Resiliency for Community, Moderation, Trust, and Safety Pros

When was the last time you mandated that your community, moderation, trust, and safety colleagues schedule time for out of queue activities? When was the last time you led by example and took a break or participated in other wellness activities before you felt burnout? What was the last tool your product team built to help foster resiliency for your moderators?

While we can’t mitigate all burnout, in this episode, Patrick and our guest, Adelin Cai, discuss how employee resiliency programs and policies can help you create an all-around safer environment for your colleagues and teams. Tools like well-defined queues and changing the presentation of harmful content are also potential product solutions that can foster resiliency from a workflow perspective.

With experience in policy, trust, and safety leadership for Pinterest, Twitter, and Google, Adelin also shares her approach for thinking about the metrics that matter. Spoiler: Metrics that revolve around quantity, like number of cases closed, or even quality, like CSAT, may not always equate to success or reflect the health of your community. Adelin also discusses working collaboratively with product and engineering teams to ensure that there’s transparency about what is being built and launched and what community behaviors or metrics should be monitored to indicate performance and to influence the further direction of the product.

Among our other topics:

  • The baseline for an employee resilience program
  • What an ideal work relationship with product and engineering looks like
  • How to reallocate resources and budget to prioritize essential moderation, trust, and safety work

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Big Quotes

All content moderation can contribute to stress (02:54): “[For the] folks reviewing content, are there little interventions that could take place to eliminate the strain or the stress that people are going through as they’re looking at content? We think about this usually in the context of the worst of the worst content, the most violent content, but there are many little things in the course of doing trust and safety work that could accumulate, and stress is cumulative.” –@adelin

Product improvements that can foster resiliency for moderation teams (10:55): “It could be as simple as having different queues for different types of content that people are going to look at and then rotating people through the different queues. … If you have someone looking at really, really horrible child sexual exploitation content all day, that’s not a healthy place for them to be in. They should be able to rotate out to a different queue.” –@adelin

Building relationships could lead to building better tools (38:01): “Make friends with your product team; make friends with the engineers because that just opens the door to having a conversation about how difficult it is when X, Y, and Z doesn’t work right. I’ve also [asked engineers to] shadow this team for ten minutes and [then they] see how inefficient the product tooling is.” –@adelin

About Adelin Cai

Adelin Cai is an online content policy and tech operations expert who’s spent the last decade working with and leading teams responsible for product policies and their enforcement.

As Pinterest’s former head of policy, Adelin led the team that developed the company’s principles and core values around content moderation, covering a range of issues from hateful speech to medical (mis)information to dank memes. Prior to Pinterest, she ran Twitter’s Legal Ads Policy team, guiding policy and operations for Twitter’s self-serve and international advertising products.

Adelin Cai is also a co-founder of the Trust & Safety Professional Association (TSPA) and the affiliated Trust & Safety Foundation (TSF). She currently serves as TSPA’s board chair.

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