Ofcom proposes to facilitate a workshop with trust and safety professionals on the topic of mandatory transparency reporting. Global trends indicate that transparency reporting will be an integral part of online platform regulation. From the UK’s Online Safety Bill to the EU’s Digital Services Act to Australia’s Online Safety Act, transparency reporting obligations are featuring increasingly in regulation as calls grow from civil society, policymakers, academics and politicians for greater transparency from online platforms. But what does effective and meaningful transparency reporting look like? What information about how online platforms operate is it vital to have access to? What are the challenges the trust and safety community face in meeting these new regulatory expectations? And do we risk unintended consequences by making more information public? In 2023, we at Ofcom – the UK’s independent communications regulator – are set to take on new Online Safety powers which includes a mandatory transparency reporting regime. With this we have a unique opportunity to rethink the current approach to transparency reporting and to leverage transparency to drive change, hold online platforms to account, and meaningfully improve user safety online. Whilst we develop our knowledge of the risks, challenges, opportunities, and trade-offs associated with mandatory transparency reporting, we want to share our thinking and gather insights and expertise from the trust and safety community which will be invaluable to our understanding as we get ready to take on our new powers. The workshop will begin with an introduction to the topic where the facilitator(s) will share opening remarks and explain the intended outcomes of the session. This will be followed by a series of questions/prompts which participants will be invited to first discuss in breakout groups and then to present a summary of their group’s discussion to the wider workshop. The questions that participants will be invited to answer are: - What does effective transparency reporting look like? Can transparency reporting be leveraged to improve user safety online? - Are there meaningful metrics that can help tell the story of online safety? - What are the challenges and trade-offs associated with mandatory transparency reporting, what are the pitfalls we should look out for when designing the regime? - How can the regulatory and trust and safety community best collaborate to serve the public? The facilitator(s) will summarise the key takeaways for each question/prompt at the end of the workshop.
This workshop is open to all TrustCon attendees, however, the following may benefit most: T&S practitioners, academics, researchers, civil society groups, and safety tech companies. Chatham House Rule will apply.