Essentials for Building a Trust and Safety Team

Sydney VaccaroIndustry Trends2 Comments

Building a Trust and Safety team

Creating a Trust and Safety team unfortunately isn’t a cookie cutter, one size fits all task. Organizations face different trust and safety challenges depending on their industry, product or services, how their products or services are sold, and if it is sold in a P2P, B2B, or B2C environment. Endless factors could contribute to why one company’s flawless and effective Trust and Safety team or Trust and Safety Policy doesn’t work for another company. The good news it that almost all established Trust and Safety teams accomplish three tasks:

  • Create a safe environment
  • Prevent fraud
  • Provide customer service

We will take a look at how top Trust and Safety teams accomplish these three tasks and what roles they use to do so.


Safety is the foundation that Trust and Safety teams are created on. Whether your company is selling products online, services in person, or is a platform for sellers and buyers to meet on it is imperative that everyone involved feel safe while working with your company. What your company sells will affect the kind of safety measures, regulation and positions that would need to be created. For example, Uber has to look out for and protect their drivers and riders. Similarly with Airbnb is it important to protect the host as well as the traveler.

Safety Positions

Resolution Agent positions are commonly tasked with responding and investigating safety situations.

Examples of positions:

Escalation Agent for Walmart
Responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing and responding to Trust and Safety Escalations
  • Researching and resolving escalated and complex issues and legal claims

Investigator/ Threat Analyst for Stubhub
Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting external and internal investigations
  • Producing incident reports by reviewing and documenting various forms of digital evidence: financial/transaction records, web traffic/IP address logs, audit logs and open source data for potential threats/subjects

Law Enforcement positions maintain a connection with local and national law enforcement to resolve incidents and handle legal requests.

Examples of positions:

Director of Law Enforcement for Airbnb
Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and maintaining effective relationships with law enforcement and government authorities
  • Leading and directing teams to respond, investigate, and engage deliverables
  • Educate law enforcement authorities on the company’s policies for protecting user privacy and responding to legal requests

Law Enforcement Response for Uber
Responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that the team follows company policies and procedures in responding to requests from law enforcement
  • Help develop tooling efficiencies and global policies and procedures.


Fraud is something that affects every business negatively. Whether in reputation, the bottom line, or customer experience there is nothing good that can come from it. Fraud positions cover the trust side of the Trust and Safety team. Their job is based around protecting the company and customers from fraudsters.

Fraud Positions

Trust and Safety Engineer positions are tasked with creating software to protect customer information, fight fraud, validate information given by customers, or anything other fraud protection the company needs.

Examples of positions:

Trust and Safety Software Engineer for Facebook
Responsibilities include:

  • Providing strong technical and organizational leadership for the Marketplace/Commerce fraud fighting efforts
  • Be a subject matter expert and drive fraud detection in Marketplace
  • Integrate fraud detection systems into Marketplace Tab, Sale Groups, and Pages with Shops

Anti-Abuse Engineer for Google

Responsibilities include:

  • Analyze potential abuse, fraud cases and trends
  • Advocate changes to product and engineering groups
  • Increase efficiency through automation, improved signals, workflow streamlining and system optimization

Data Analyst positions are responsible for finding information and recognizing trends on anything fraud related. This can range from responding to chargebacks, measuring fraudulent behavior and effectiveness of anti-fraud measures, to investigating customer accounts for legitimacy

Examples of positions:

Data Analyst for Google
Responsibilities include:

  • Developing metrics for measuring and understanding Google’s effectiveness at combating fraud
  • Conducting investigations into sophisticated forms of abuse, take action on fraudsters and close attack vectors
  • Perform statistical analyses on huge data sets to determine trends and develop business insights in order to protect Google’s users

Fraud Analyst for TripAdvisor
Responsibilities include:

  • Investigate accounts and bookings using the information provided by the customer
  • Analyze information and make conclusions in an efficient manner about the legitimacy of the account/booking
  • Resolve issues that arise from validation checks and provide clear and concise feedback to the customer

Customer Service

The customer service part of the Trust and Safety team is where your company can go above and beyond creating the best environment possible. The positions can vary from creating the safest and easiest to use products to responding and taking action when a customer has a concern. These positions are where your company can truly stand out.

Customer Service Positions

Product and Design positions are tasked with making the product safe and user friendly. They solve problems, run tests, make changes, and create new features to make the product the best it can be.

Examples of positions:

Service Design Specialist for Lyft
Responsibilities include:

  • Understanding of top safety concerns; classify, quantify, and prioritize improvement opportunities across product, business, and support delivery teams
  • Partnering with safety leaders to consistently improve agents’ ability to solve customer requests through tools developed during launches
  • Implementing automated resolutions for customer questions and issues

Trust and Safety Product Risk for LinkedIn
Responsibilities include:

  • Performing risk assessments for new products and features to mitigate risk to members and customers
  • Analyzing gaps and identifying optimizations to products and processes
  • Applying industry knowledge to educate & empower members, customers, and employees on trust & security issues through developing and maintaining Safety Center & Help Center content

Complaint/Abuse Response positions role is to create the safest and friendliest environment possible. These positions hear customers reports of abuse or inappropriate behavior and take action.

Examples of positions:

Trust and Safety Specialist for Pinterest
Responsibilities include:

  • Review reported content to accurately and quickly assess for compliance with graphic content guidelines
  • Identify content guideline gaps and trends to help improve Pinterest policies and methods of enforcement

Trust and Safety Policy Specialist for Twitter
Responsibilities include:

  • Researching, drafting, and driving process changes for cutting edge policy and safety solutions
  • Be on the front lines of safety, speech, and policy issues that affect the internet
  • Be the primary point of contact for high-level safety escalations

Time to Make Your Own

Many of the companies that have already established Trust and Safety teams and policies are peer to peer companies. Peer to peer companies such as Uber or Airbnb wouldn’t be able to operate if it wasn’t for trust. These companies main focus is on safety for everyone in their company’s ecosystem because they need that to even survive, let alone thrive. Other companies won’t be far behind in creating these teams. It is important for any company to create the feelings of trust and safety for everyone involved with their company.

To create your own team you have to first look at your company’s specific needs. What threats, risks, or challenges come to mind with the categories of safety, fraud, and customer service? Go through each category asking yourself a series of questions to evaluate your company needs. For example, what challenges have come up with safety of your customers, employees, property or equipment? Are there positions that could be created prevent safety from being compromised or handle a safety situation when an incident does happen? Is there an already established position within the company that could be tweaked a little to cover these requirements? After looking at what your company’s main risks and challenges are you will have to framework to create positions for your Trust and Safety team.


Customer Service Policy

2 Comments on “Essentials for Building a Trust and Safety Team”

  1. yes building the team is probably the most difficult task specially for high growth rate corporates who work on double digit or even triple digit growth rates ……calibrating as per requirements in such a dynamic environment is key to success finally

  2. Pingback: What You Can Expect At MRC Vegas (2018)

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