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January 4, 2024

Pro-Social with Integrity Institute, A Recap

Can startups anticipate the right trust & safety measures for their platforms?

Can startups anticipate the right trust & safety measures for their platforms?

Can startups anticipate the right trust & safety measures for their platforms? How can they strike the balance between safety and growth? 

Those are just a couple of challenges that founders Sarah Oh and Michael Dworsky weighed in on during PDN's latest Pro Social where they introduced Integrity Institute’s new Trust & Safety deck for startups: “Build in Integrity: Best Practices for Early Stage Companies." 

The deck brings together the experience and collective knowledge of 20+ integrity professionals, laying out best practices on integrating the right trust & safety systems for early-stage companies whose users interact with one another. It's a hands-on guide that walks through seven actions, starting with "getting clear on your mission and values" all the way through putting in place a system to "monitor detection and enforcement."  One prominent theme of the deck is that startups need to weave trust & safety into their systems at the get-go, including thinking about how to integrate design that incentivizes prosocial interaction (which we obviously love).

PDN Board Member and Integrity Institute Resident Fellow Laure X Cast led a conversation with Sarah and Michael, drawing out some of the biggest challenges startups face in establishing a solid trust & safety practice. 

One overarching constraint is that putting in place a sustainable trust & safety system takes time, something startups don't have a lot of. It's also hard to predict what types of harms will need to be addressed and at what stage of a platform's growth. Sarah and Michael advised that while startups should try to anticipate the trust & safety measures they may need, for example by talking to other platforms in their space, they also need to stay attuned to what is actually happening on their platform, responding to current risks and real needs. 

Another challenge is balancing risk mitigation with investor interest. Startups that want to build responsibly may have to trade off rapid growth. This is a challenge, however, that may only be truly handled by educating investors to better understand that long-term growth and sustainability require healthy spaces.

You can view the entire conversation below - and should of course check out the deck!

About the Prosocial Design Network

The Prosocial Design Network researches and promotes prosocial design: evidence-based design practices that bring out the best in human nature online. Learn more at prosocialdesign.org.

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