Trust & Safety Tycoon lets you simulate the toughest jobs in tech


Trust & Safety Tycoon lets you simulate the toughest jobs in tech -Gudstory

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If you think you could have avoided Twitter’s blue check impersonation debacle, have we got the game for you! Techdirt has released a very fun and not at all stressful game Trust & Safety Tycoon, in which you simulate running a trust and security team at a Twitter-like social media startup called Yapper.

Created with the Atlantic Council’s Task Force for a Trustworthy Future Web, Trust & Safety Tycoon forces the player to confront the challenging trade-offs of keeping an online platform secure – whether to ban a user from the off- Is platform harassment grounds? Is it okay to use offensive profanity if it is being used by members of the group to which the profanity refers? Can you allow bots on the platform without becoming a haven for crypto spam? Can you create a policy around political misinformation without showing bias toward one political party or another?

These questions are less complex in a theoretical vacuum – but in this game, you have to maintain solid user growth, ad revenue, moderation speed, and team morale. And even if you can accomplish this, your CEO may lose confidence in you and reprimand you when you make a wrong choice regarding the fate of a provocateur named “Batdung” (yes, this happened to me. happened). Then, you will receive a request from local law enforcement who want you to let a suspected murderer continue live streaming on Yapper so that the police can find out where he is located. And if you can get past that mess, you have to figure out how to comply with changing international laws without handing over activists’ user data to authoritarian governments.

Image Credit: Trust and Security Tycoon (Opens in a new window)

By the time you finish the game, you are given the option to keep working at Yapper, start your own company, consult for the government, or go into early retirement. If you choose not to buy a mountain cottage and adopt a puppy, you are stronger than me.

The game is hard: On my first attempt, I was fired before reaching Series B, because my cautious moderation decisions reduced our user growth and ad revenue. Still, it’s entertaining (though perhaps not as entertaining as Rollercoaster Tycoon) and gives you a new understanding of how hard it is to run a social media platform. Although some moderation scenarios are fun – you’re tasked with determining whether replying “Ok Boomer” to older users is harassment, or if bros are a threat to the safety of minors – many of the scenarios feel immediate, too real. Reflects legislation that is underway in Congress as we speak. Can individual states ban TikTok? Can you protect children from viewing porn without requiring all Internet users to verify their age and identity? We’ll see how it plays out in the real world.


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