Updated Feb 8, 2022 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on internet safety in the modern digital era

On Tuesday, February 8th, Axios media reporter Sara Fischer and chief technology correspondent Ina Fried examined the importance of user protections and how decision-makers are working to make the internet safer, featuring TikTok head of U.S. safety Eric Han and National Cybersecurity Alliance interim executive director Lisa Plaggemier.

Eric Han highlighted TikTok’s newly released community guideline changes, how the platform is handling viral hoaxes and harmful challenges, and what they’re doing to combat political misinformation with midterm elections coming up.

  • On new updates to TikTok’s community guidelines: “We’re making it clear that offenses like misogyny or misgendering, which have long been prohibited on our platform, are not allowed under our hateful behavior policies. Moreover…one of the updates that we’re announcing as well is how do we aim to support the well-being of our community? Parts of that is expanding the type of content related to eating disorders that we will remove.”
  • On the platform’s political speech policies: “From right now, we feel pretty good from a policy standpoint. For example, we ban paid political ads. We’re going to continue doing that. Election misinformation is not something that should proliferate on our platform. These are policies we’ve had in place since day one, and we recognize that an election heightens that.”

Lisa Plaggemier explained why she believes framing cyberattacks as military style attacks is inappropriate, tips to help people learn to protect themselves online, and what companies beyond just the tech industry should be doing to protect the most vulnerable internet users.

  • On how using war imagery to describe cybersecurity problems heightens public stress: “If you ask people that work in UX or UI design, they will say the exact same thing: that they have learned that in order to engage technology users more during this time, they have to lean into positivity…and that’s really the problem, is that militaristic tone and that type of language is really tone deaf for these times.”
  • On communicating with consumers about security: “I think a lot of consumer-facing organizations are afraid to communicate about cybersecurity because maybe they’re afraid they live in a glass house or it’s a scary subject, and it’s not going to reflect well on their brand. But you can do it in a way that really uses security as a brand asset.”

The View from the Top segment with Google’s SVP of Core Systems & Experiences Jen Fitzpatrick emphasized how the ways people use the internet have changed, and how these shifts have caused cybersecurity to become more important for tech companies.

  • “Last year, we took a big step and enrolled more than 150 million people in two-step verification…and with that initiative, we just learned that we actually cut in half the number of hijacked accounts, which is something that’s super important as more and more bad actors are targeting people’s accounts and trying to gain malicious access to them.”

Thank you Google for sponsoring this event.

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