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An Insider’s Guide to TrustCon 2023: Highlights & Insights

June 22, 2023

The TSPA’s TrustCon 2023 provides a meaningful forum for both knowledge sharing and idea exchange as Trust & Safety professionals from around the world gather to share successes, lessons learned, and discuss the future of our field. Learn, discuss, and connect at these must-attend events.

As an expanding industry, Trust & Safety is known for its ever-evolving ecosystem. With its rapid rate of growth comes a distinct set of challenges faced by professionals working within this space. The TSPA’s TrustCon 2023 provides a meaningful forum for both knowledge sharing and idea exchange as Trust & Safety professionals from around the world gather to share successes, lessons learned, and discuss the future of our field. TrustCon 2023 will take place from July 11-13 in San Francisco, and personally, I cannot wait to attend. The information that follows outlines just some of the highlights that top my must-attend list.

Program Highlights

The TrustCon 2023 Agenda is packed with expert-led presentations, panels, and workshops on some of the most pressing issues facing Trust & Safety. If I could, I would attend them all. In the interim, here are some of the top sessions I look forward to joining. 

  1. Steering Generative AI to DEI and Beyond by Joël Kalmanowicz, Trust & Safety Product Lead at Canva. We have seen how built-in human biases can influence the decision-making and classification of algorithms. I am interested to learn about how Canva is tackling this on their platform.
  2. Influencing Feature Teams to Build Safety by Design by Cheryl Kwan, Product Lead, Account Integrity at Roblox. As a Trust & Safety leader, it can be challenging to effectively rally product leadership around Trust & Safety goals, garner full commitment to Trust & Safety disciplines, and ensure integration of safety by design principles. I am looking forward to learning more about Roblox’s program, which prioritizes Trust & Safety considerations as a mandatory step in product development.
  3. Similarity Detection at Scale for Content Enforcement by Sam Freeman, Product Engineer at Meta. This session will focus on the technical challenge of comparing pieces of content against known violative content. At Activefence, we face similar challenges, in spaces like child safety and terrorism, where small content changes can lead to a false negative. With content going viral easily and the dissemination of large volumes of the same material, the solutions to media matching, duplicates, and near-duplicates become more challenging.
  4. Building Safety for DALL-E is another fascinating presentation I hope to attend. As the first publicly available generative image model DALL-E of OpenAI is an industry pioneer who entered the market well before the “GenAI boom” began. I am interested in learning about their approach to safety, as well as finding out what has changed since the initial product release, and what new approaches were adopted after a year in the market. 
  5. Meaningful Platform Transparency: Transparency to Educate Society & Prepare for Upcoming Regulations by Jeff Allen, Co-Founder, Chief Research Officer of the Integrity Institute. This presentation will focus on transparency best practices. I found their Metrics & Transparency report to be very insightful, and I look forward to hearing about how prioritization from legislators and genuine transparency values on behalf of platforms will inform the future of transparency.
  6. API Bootcamp: Empowering Everyone to Use and Evaluate APIs by Nick Cariello, Technical Director of Client Solutions at Hive. I plan to attend this workshop to explore API use and evaluation. With more online platforms opting for buy versus build Trust & Safety solutions, the skill of evaluating APIs will become more critical.
  7. Doing Policy Development with Robots: Using Large Language Models for Policy Development and Content Moderation. In one of my classes as part of the Activefence Trust & Safety Academy at NYU, I discuss my predictions for the use of Generative AI for Trust & Safety and policy development. While I can envision how this process can happen in theory, this presentation will address the practicality of developing policies with GPT-4.
  8. Shaping Instagram’s Approach to Ranking & Recommendations by Sarah Shirazyan, Content Policy Manager; Head of Stakeholder Engagement on Ranking and Misinformation at Meta. With more regulations demanding algorithmic transparency, this talk will shed light on how Instagram’s recommendation algorithm works, and what factors play into decision-making. I hope to learn about how these algorithms have safety rails to prevent bias and the “going down the rabbit hole” effect.

Discussion Insights: Where ActiveFence will be at TrustCon 2023

Having dedicated the majority of my career to the field of Trust & Safety, I have found that an essential part of my work involves forging partnerships and strong connections with members of our community. Here are some opportunities to connect at TrustCon 2023:

  1. TSPA’s T&S Coffee Hours: What We’ve Learned from the Community with Cathryn Weems, Policy Lead, Trust & Safety at Epic Games. On the community side, I’ve been mentoring many “TSPA coffee hours” with various Trust & Safety professionals, which has given me incredible insight into the diverse needs, interests, and desires of the community. I look forward to meeting Cathryn, another Trust & Safety veteran, who will share her experience in the TSPA mentoring program.
  2. Looking Up and Out: Findings and Recommendations from the Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web. I have the honor to be a member of the Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web, alongside an amazing group of Trust & Safety leaders. Our final Task Force report launched this week and includes a comprehensive mapping of solutions and challenges in the industry, as well as a list of recommendations for immediate interventions that can secure a safer online sphere. Meet Task Force Director Kat Duffy and other task force members for a panel discussion on recent findings and an interactive Q&A session.
  3. A Mid-Year Check-In: Trends and Tactics in Child Safety, Terrorism, Hate Speech, and Misinformation. Join me as I present a mid-year update on threat actor TTPs designed to evade detection across a range of abuse areas. Gain insights into emerging cross-platform trends in the areas of misinformation, child safety, terrorism, and hate speech.
  4. Scaling and Innovating Content Moderation Operations. Join me and my fellow panelists as we discuss the technologies and practices that can help advance content moderation efficiency, as we examine policy design, implementation, and enforcement in the context of global and local needs.
  5. Moderating Hate Speech in the Fediverse with ActiveFence Senior Analyst Chen Reuveni. Delve into content moderation in decentralized online environments, through a Lightning Talk focused on hate speech moderation within the global, decentralized, and interconnected network of servers, known as the Federated Universe, or the Fediverse.
  6. Product Features and Functionalities: Risks and Solutions with ActiveFence AI Innovation Leader in Product Bertie Vidgen. This multi-stakeholder panel will offer strategic insight into approaching product decisions, from considerations in the design process to solutions for risk mitigation.
  7. Join ActiveFence and Google for a Women in Trust & Safety Happy Hour. In collaboration with Google, ActiveFence invites you to join us for food, drinks, and networking in celebration of female-identifying Trust & Safety professionals and their allies.
  8. Kickoff TrustCon 2023: Drinks & Discussion with Niantic and ActiveFence. Join us for a community-led happy hour at Niantic’s office on the San Francisco waterfront where Jen Weedon from Niantic and Carly Goldstein from ActiveFence will discuss their experiences in Red Teaming and safety by design. This is a great opportunity to learn from your peers, network, and enjoy a fun night of drinks, snacks, and great conversation. 

No matter which presentations, panels, workshops, and networking events you attend, I am confident that you will leave TrustCon 2023 with informative insights, innovative solutions, and a strong sense of community. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Attending TrustCon 2023? Come meet the ActiveFence team!