Last month, LegitScript, Marketplace Risk, and the Merchant Risk Council hosted Online Risk and Compliance Day, an industry-wide day of education and networking for professionals working in merchant risk & compliance and in trust & safety. This is a recap of Session Three, which included Jennifer Kelly, the Senior Director of Marketplace Integrity at Etsy; Eric Timmreck, the Senior Manager of Trust and Safety at OfferUp; and Brian Hopkins the Director of Business Integrity at Meta.
A global pandemic, war, and economic downturn impacted every industry in 2022, and the internet space was no exception: ”[It] was a calmer year than the two that preceded it, which was a welcome change,” Kelly said. “But [2022 being] a calmer year is saying something about what the prior two years were like within our field [and] in the world.” Luca Jarone, Associate Director of Strategic Growth at LegitScript and moderator for the session, joked that perhaps “locusts are next.”
Let’s take a look at what affected trust and safety teams this year.
Key Takeaways: What Trust and Safety Teams Faced in 2022
Jennifer Kelly: “What really stands out to me are the legal and regulatory developments that impacted user-generated content platforms. Unprecedented movement globally, a lot of emerging frameworks, some of which [were] overlapping, some of which [were] really quite distinct, and especially in the US, a little bit of a stop start on, ‘Will it pass? Won't it pass? Will it pass at a state level, will it pass at a federal level?’
“So we can see the way that a political environment impacts the lawmaking process and can really impact the efforts of those platforms that are trying to read the room and position themselves. We all know that engineering roadmaps don't really change on a dime, so we really need a longer term view to plan and appropriately position for compliance.”
Eric Timmreck: “On the traditional side, account takeovers were a major area of focus for us in the beginning of the year. We saw a ton of activity early and went after it hard. We were able to implement a lot of protections that changed the momentum. Again, we are seeing more and more the upswing of professional organizations that are seeking to scam, and a lot less [of] what we've seen in previous years, which is a mix of more casual bad actors with the more professional. The casual ones are falling away.
“I'd say when it comes to the situational stuff [it’s been] one thing after another. With COVID, for example, we saw a lot of price gouging of early COVID tests and things that were necessary for us to step in and make sure that our users were safe and not being taken advantage of. It's just been a very, very tricky year.”
Brian Hopkins: “The area that was the newest for us was this idea of economic voice. So for the last decade [in] trust and safety, I think we've always thought about stopping all of the bad. And if some good actors get caught in that, that's better than allowing a trafficking ad to go live. Or to allow something in our messaging product to end with some real world harm…And those high, high harm areas, those very severe areas, we wanted to take a more balanced approach to things like an economic voice.
“If we are restricting an advertiser from growing their small business in a part of the world that does have a very macroeconomic downturn, that's then causing harm in that area. We've always thought about the community harm as kind of the North Star for what our teams do. And it's how we connect our day-to-day work to this larger picture and why we do what we do.”
Panelists Predict What to Expect in 2023 — It’s Not Locusts
The panelists all agreed — data sharing between platforms is on the horizon. “I don't know the nature of the sharing that will happen in the future, but it's got to happen,” Rimmreck said. “I'm excited to go on that journey and figure out [what] the right level of consortium and data sharing [is] in 2023. It'll no doubt evolve, but I think it's probably going to take a few years.”
“Etsy acquired a few marketplaces over the last several years, and we saw this play out really, really clearly,” Kelly added. “We were getting to know the marketplaces that had recently been acquired as subsidiaries and we knew their fraudsters. We're like, ‘Oh yeah, we know them’...It was remarkable the similarities that we observed across completely different platforms, different regions, but the same people... If we link arms, I think we could have a much bigger impact than trying to tackle this on our own.”
Help Us Help You
For more than a decade LegitScript has partnered with payment service providers and internet companies to help them mitigate risk and more confidently grow their portfolios and platforms. If you have questions about how we can help you reach your business goals and remove cybercriminals from your ecosystem, contact us. We look forward to helping you.