[Newsletter Archives] Newsletter – 24/02/2020 – 3 Quick Tips For Online Safety

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Hi << Test First Name >>

3 Quick Tips to make your Service Safer for your users.

You don’t have the time to be wading through reams and reams of government-issued documentation and guidance, about Online Safety for your users, so today I’ve picked just a few tips for you to pique your interest. I’d be keen to hear back (just hit ‘reply’, or comment on the blog post version of this) to let me know what you’ like to hear more about, and I’ll make it happen….

1. Content moderation

Pre, Post or Reactive?If you’ve not engaged with a Content Moderation service for online safety yet, then you may have thought you just ‘plug it in’ and it happens. Well…. You have to make some choices I’m afraid. Here are some of the basic strategies available to you:
Pre-Moderation. This is effectively where the content from Users (for example User Generated Content (UGC)) is placed in a queue and your moderation service (automated or human) forms an opinion before it gets published.
Post-Moderation. As you may have already guessed – This allows content from your users to be published immediately (giving that warm glow of achievement of having ‘gone live’) – but the content is replicated in a queue to be moderated as soon as it can be got to.
Reactive Moderation. This effectively lets the community (or (and this is not good) Law Enforcement!) report content to be moderated. This can then be plugged into your automated, semi-automated or Human moderation team.

IWF Make a Report Link

If your users are in the UK, they can make a report of images or videos of Child Abuse they come across directly to the IWF. You can link to the ‘Make a Report Button’ (https://report.iwf.org.uk/en/report) for an easy option for your users.

Default Settings

If you operate in the UK, you are now required to make sure that your service has it’s ‘Default Settings’ to be ‘High Privacy’ (unless you can demonstrate a compelling reason for a different default setting, taking account of the best interests of the child). This is in the new ICO Age Appropriate Design code (coming into force soon) and they will have the power to fine companies that do not comply!

Hope those tiny-tips offer some pointers, but please do reply and let me know if you have other ideas.


Keep in touch.

Safety by Design – Keeping platforms safe for users

The internet is an incredible place, and has brought imeasurable good in the world, bit it’s no secret that it’s brought a great deal of harm too. Just as the variety of online benefits increases every day, so do the Online Harms. Even as we write, the UK government is set to release its Online Harms White Paper (OHWP) in which we hope it will enumerate the harms it considers to be tackled. From our research, there appears to be no widely accepted listing of harms, which makes it difficult to tackle them head on. The best we have found so far comes from Ofcom (more on that later).

So, as you may expect, we’re delighted that there are organisations that are providing real, quality advice on measures that companies can take to keep their platform safe.

Whilst not released yet, I’d encourage anyone with a social media element to their platform, or who takes User Generated Content (UGC) to follow the Australian eSafety office for their imminent release of the Safety by Design framework.

We’ll keep you posted.

How to make your website safer for humans – the basics in the UK

We often have conversations with small platform and service providers that are starting to think about making their service a safer place for their users. This applies to almost all types of website and internet based services, but in particular those that provide some social media function, some chat platform or those with User Generated Content (UGC).

One of the first things that is mentioned is the lack of clear guidance available on what the service or platform’s responsibilities are and what steps they should be taking.

A good place to start in the UK is the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and the principles they provide

Take a look at the HTML version here.

Whilst this is targeted towards protecting children online, it is sound advice for any platform or service seeking to protect users online.

We’ll unpack more on this in later posts, but if you’re looking at their advice (for example):

…use tools such as search algorithms to look for slang words typically used by children and young people, and to identify children under 13 who may have lied about their age at registration

The you may also want to take a look at our Online Safety Content Moderation Company list.