Spotted elsewhere: The Trust Engineers


A podcast episode from RadioLab about how Facebook’s Protect and Care team (formerly known as the Trust Engineering team) tweak this social network’s interface to make it a more trusted and friendlier environment.


Retweeted by ‘New Social Media, New Social Science?’, aka NSMNSS (Twitter feed here). As per NSMNSS’s website, this organisation ‘brings together academics, researchers and research stakeholders to address (…) questions posed by the increasing use of social media and social media data in social science research’. It was this network that curated, crowd-sourced and launched the book “Social Media in Social Research: Blogs on Blurring the Boundaries” (affiliate link) that I mentioned here.

So what?

On the surface, this podcast episode is about what leads people to report Facebook photos, and how the company deals with those complaints. In reality, however, this episode is a treasure trove of reflections on:

  • Complaining behaviours and communication – e.g., how intention to report or to remove offending pictures varies with wording
  • Nudging and social engineering
  • Online vs. offline communication
  • Experimentation on social platforms – apparently, at any one moment, any given Facebook user is part of 10 experiments at once, without our knowledge
  • Research in academia vs. industry
  • The ethics of experiments

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy this thought provoking podcast. Afterwards, let me know your thoughts about this podcast.


2 thoughts on “Spotted elsewhere: The Trust Engineers

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