As a Trust & Safety Wrangler, I contribute to making sure the web is a safer and better place. I work in content moderation by assessing if websites and blogs hosted on WordPress.com comply with our Terms of Service, User, and Store Guidelines.
My workday goes mostly around reviewing reports. Most of them are sent to us through our contact forms, but we also have top-notch technology that helps us identify content that might violate our Terms of Service. We then make sure that human eyes also assess these automated processes.
This is like detective work. Each report is different from the others. In this job, it is very important to have an eye for detail, a knack for policy interpretation, the ability to filter and extract relevant information, and the ability to remain objective and neutral in complex assessments.
How is my day?
Usually, during my workday, I work in various ticket queues. Each queue depends on the different report areas which we work; for example, posting private information, illegal and highly regulated products, phishing, copyright infringement, etc. We can move between queues depending on where we are most needed. We also work together with Happiness Engineers on their requests to review content.
Aside from team meetings, 1:1s, and training/workshops, my schedule is flexible and pretty much to my own structuring. Therefore, to me, it is important to balance things out and get the best out of my workday.
To make sure I’m getting proper breaks, for example, I have set reminders on my Alexa device to remind me to rest for five minutes every hour. This is a good opportunity to stand up, stretch, walk around, play with the dog, or simply make coffee. With these breaks, I can come back to work with a fresh set of eyes.
As a Trust & Safety wrangler, it is advisable to switch areas of focus within a single day. Report areas are varied, and there might be content we don’t like or upset us; hence the importance of balancing between report areas, pausing, and resetting.
But I’m not alone and most of the work is also teamwork. Analyzing complex content, or “content reviews”, as we call them, can involve a group of people. Each person brings their point of view and expertise. It is wonderful to see the amount of knowledge that one can extract from more experienced team members.
Setting time for Deep Work
I believe that deep work is important for many jobs but even more for Trust & Safety wranglers who need to assess complex situations. My daily work requires that I take a closer look at some specific reports with full concentration.
Distractions can be a big part of our workday if we don’t pay closer attention to them. That is why I try to set at least three chunks of time as periods of deep work (around 90 to 120 mins each). In those chunks, I do my best to not get distracted by pings, notifications, and other things happening around me. The remaining time is used to make sure I’m up to speed with company/division updates, discussions about specific case escalations, and to contribute with my perspective to other content review requests and pings from Happiness Engineers. When I split my day like this, I end the day feeling as though I’ve produced better work – with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Thanks to this working structure, I also feel that in all my time in Trust & Safety, I’ve learned more than I had learned probably in half of my life. I’m not only talking about understanding policies but also skills like distilling ideas, synthesizing them, and clearly expressing them in a written way.
I feel very lucky to be able to create my schedule with the structure and methods that work best for me.