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5 ways a trust and safety consultation can work for your business

September 1, 2023 | Marketing & Operations

Amidst the numerous clicks, shares, and likes that brands chase these days, many find themselves grappling with a paradox. The allure of User-Generated Content (UGC) is undeniable, with its power for real stories, genuine engagement, and unrivaled spontaneity. But with that authenticity comes unpredictability: potential threats, mazes of laws and regulations, and the challenge of constant content oversight.

Newer brands often tread unfamiliar waters, unsure of the intricacies of trust and safety, while seasoned brands, despite their experience, can find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer scale and ever-evolving digital landscape.

WebPurify, no stranger to the world of content moderation with its 17 years at the forefront, has unveiled a solution for brands of all sizes, at any stage in their journey. Our new Trust and Safety Consultancy, spearheaded by VP of Trust & Safety Alexandra Popken, is not just another service; it offers guidance tailored specifically to the complexities of your business in today’s online landscape. In this guide, we’ll explain the ways in which a trust and safety consultancy can help you chart a safer course online.

Reason why your business will benefit from a trust and safety consultation

Reasons why a trust and safety consultancy benefits your business

1. Risk Mitigation

Every startup launching a new app, or an e-commerce platform introducing a reviews feature, treads into new territories. While these are valuable channels for engagement, they can also become conduits for abuse and harm.

Consider the online marketplace: without the right safeguards, counterfeit products might flood listings, leading to a compromised user experience and potential legal confrontations. Similarly, a video-sharing app could inadvertently become a hub for copyrighted content uploads if not effectively moderated.

“Engaging a third-party consultant to assess your platform for risks offers a distinct advantage: our impartial perspective and wide range of industry experience will uncover potential risk areas that may have eluded your detection,” Alex says. “We seamlessly complement your in-house team, providing a fresh and expert outlook.”

By proactively identifying and addressing these risks, businesses can preemptively address issues before they escalate.

2. Reputation Management

Maintaining a brand’s reputation online is no simple feat, especially when the landscape changes so rapidly. Examples of just how formidable the challenge isare numerous and affect every industry. Take the case of a popular brand whose advertising unwittingly appeared next to offensive user-generated content, causing a significant public relations fiasco. Or consider an influencer platform where fraudulent influencers with fake followers tarnish the reputation and trustworthiness of the brand.

You might even be a high-end fashion label and think this could never happen or is irrelevant to you, but one rogue post or controversial user comment can spiral into a viral debacle, detracting from years of carefully cultivated reputation..

Beyond immediate damage control, it’s crucial to have systems in place that continuously monitor and manage potential threats to a brand’s narrative. Such instances can cause brands to lose not just advertisers, but also user trust, requiring months or even years to rebuild.

“We know all too well that it takes a single trust and safety crisis to mar a brand’s reputation and send advertisers fleeing,” Alex says. “Our proficiency in recognizing and guiding you through the nuances of brand safety management ensures you’ll be well-prepared to protect your image and safeguard your bottom line.”

3. Compliance Assistance

The regulatory labyrinth governing online activity can be overwhelming for many businesses. For instance, platforms operating in the European Union must grasp the intricacies of the Digital Services Act (DSA), which enforces requirements for the removal of illegal content.

Similarly, an app geared towards children in the US must be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), safeguarding the online privacy of children under 13. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Businesses need guidance to understand and navigate these regulations without stumbling into legal complexity.

“Let’s face it: regulation is ramping up and a lack of compliance means legal penalties and significant fines,” Alex says. “Allow us to assist you in instituting robust processes that ensure your compliance.”

4. Enhance User Trust

Trust, as they say, is hard to gain but easy to lose. A single negative incident, such as a racist comment on one’s post that goes unnoticed and addressed, can drastically diminish user trust. Take social media platforms, for instance: users have grown wary of trolls and toxic interactions, leading to declining user engagement. A platform allowing hate speech, cyberbullying, or misleading information can alienate users, reducing platform activity and engagement.

For an online marketplace, user trust translates to repeat transactions. If users are wary of scammy products or unfiltered content, they may pull back from the platform. Establishing safety measures ensures users feel secure and confident, prompting them to not only return but also advocate for the platform among peers.

“A platform’s user base is its most important customer segment, and users nowadays increasingly demand platform safety,” Alex says. “We can help you implement user-centric content moderation strategies that foster loyalty and engagement.”

5. Proactive Strategy Development

Waiting for a problem to arise before addressing it can be a costly mistake. Imagine, for example, you’re on the product team of an emerging gaming platform. Instead of reacting after the fact to each content moderation crisis as it arises, a proactive strategy would help you anticipate areas of concern. For example, perhaps implementing preemptive chat moderation or user vetting processes, to ensure safe and enjoyable user interactions.

Still don’t think this applies to you? Consider how many platforms were caught unprepared when the pandemic shifted user behaviors and priorities seemingly overnight. Proactively developing strategies means foreseeing potential challenges, like emerging technologies or shifts in user behavior. By staying one step ahead, businesses can adapt seamlessly, maintaining user trust and operational stability.

“Traditionally, trust and safety measures have been reactionary, leaving platforms in a constant game of whack-a-mole,” Alex says. “Our mission is to reshape this paradigm, empowering businesses to adopt a proactive and preemptive approach that will set them up for long-term success.”

In this intricate ballet of trust, safety, and brand integrity, businesses no longer need to dance alone. If you’re committed to strengthening your platform and fostering user trust, WebPurify is here to help. Contact us here.