The Safety Tech Podcast

Exploring what it means to be safe online and the role that safety tech could play in creating safer, stronger online communities.

Meet the host: Ben Whitelaw 

The series is hosted by journalist Ben Whitelaw who has worked for the European Journalism Centre, The Times, The Guardian, and is the founder of Everything in Moderation, a newsletter covering the very latest stories in online content moderation.

Each episode focuses on a different issue individuals and companies face online, and demonstrates the ways in which Safety Tech is being successfully implemented to tackle these issues. The podcast is produced by 4Kicks Productions. Please click the corresponding buttons below to listen via your preferred streaming platform.

[Episode 1] Safety Tech 101: an introduction to combatting online harms

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The fast growing Safety Tech sector has potential to address some of the myriad of harms that people face online. But it isn’t without complexity.

In this introductory episode, host Ben Whitelaw speaks to experts about the history of online safety to date, the growing market of safety tech providers and what the web might look like in five years time.


[Episode 2] “I went down the rabbit hole”: exploring the real-life effects of false narratives

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Rising levels of mis- and dis-information threaten people’s health, create distrust and even threaten democracy itself. How could safety tech help spot false narratives before they become problematic?

Host Ben Whitelaw speaks to three people who have experienced the real-life effects of misinformation themselves and are trying to address it in their own different ways.


[Episode 3] Young and at risk: the challenge of making digital spaces safer for children

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Children are the groups most at risk of online harms, and with more young people using platforms at an earlier age, the need to protect them is greater than ever.

But age verification and data privacy concerns persist and regulators have the tough job of avoiding overstep. Host Ben Whitelaw explores whether the two can co-exist and, if so, at what cost.


[Episode 4] Breaking the cycle of hate and harassment: talking to the people tackling online abuse

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Host Ben Whitelaw speaks to three people at the sharp end of the efforts to reduce and remove online abuse and tries to gauge how ready they are for the emergence of the metaverse and other virtual experiences.

Online violence, hate speech and harassment have been around as long as the web itself. Across many online communities and platforms, it has become the norm, particularly for women and marginalised groups.


[Episode 5] “Enough is enough”: how online gaming is changing its reputation for toxicity

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Online gaming has a long history of harassment, abusive behaviour and bullying. Being on the receiving end, as we hear in this episode, is a difficult and often frightening experience.

Luckily, a host of gaming companies are prioritising the safety of gamers around the world by designing experiences that create trusted connections and resilient communities. Host Ben Whitelaw speaks to some of the people involved and asks what others can learn from gaming’s adoption of safety tech.

– RekitRaven, Twitch Streamer
– Carlos Figueiredo, previously Senior Trust & Safety Evangelist at Two Hat (Microsoft)
– Kimberly Voll, Co-founder of Fair Play Alliance

[Episode 6] The power of design: how subtle choices can prevent users experiencing risk and harm

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The speed and scale of content posted online every day makes dealing reactively with online harms a uniquely difficult challenge. So what is being done to proactively limit our exposure before it happens?

Safety by design is an emerging idea being adopted by product managers and designers, who hope that more thoughtful design decisions can positively influence users’ experiences online. In this episode, host Ben Whitelaw speaks to people familiar with the concept about how it is helping to improve conversations on a well-known dating app as well as its potential for combatting other harms, such as child abuse, without compromising people’s privacy.

– Alice Hunsberger, Senior Director of Customer Experience at Grindr
– Georgina Bourke, Principal Technology Advisor at Information Commissioner’s Office
– Iain Drennan, Executive Director of the WeProtect Global Alliance