Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Industry self-assessment tools

S b D

eSafety is currently developing two dynamic and interactive SbD self-assessment tools — one for start-ups, and another geared to the needs of more established companies.

These aim to help organisations, both large and small, implement SbD effectively, sustainably and with the greatest impact.

The self-assessment tools will translate eSafety’s SbD Principles into action, tailored to each organisation’s structure and individual risk profile. The tools and accompanying implementation guides will step participants through five core modules, each with a specific set of questions addressing individual needs. A report is available at the end of each module which acts as both a ‘safety health check’ and a learning resource for future use. Reports include best practice examples, templates and proposed workflows. The SbD self-assessment tools can be used as either an audit or a ‘safety impact assessment’. 

The SbD self-assessment tools will be made available in the coming months.

Structure and leadership, Internal policies, processes and expectations of employees, Moderation, escalation and enforcement practices, End user impact assessment, Transparency and accountability

Module 1

Structure and leadership

This module walks users through seven core topics which address safety both strategically and culturally within an organisation. 

If safety is not embraced by company leadership as a priority, investment is limited and any response to harm tends to be reactive. Leadership and accountability are critical to ensuring that user safety is appropriately addressed, incorporated and adhered to throughout the organisation and the lifecycle of a platform or service. 

Module 1 topics:

  1. Corporate values and company principles 
  2. Accountable team or individual                            
  3. Board or leadership team    
  4. Staff training 
  5. Investment and reporting
  6. Global alliances and membership    


Module 2

Internal policies, procedures and expectations of employees 

This module addresses the internal policies, processes and procedures that can help to keep users safe. The burden of safety should never fall solely upon the end user — and every attempt must be made to ensure that harms are understood, assessed and addressed in service design and provision. This includes ongoing assessments for service/platform refreshe

Module 2 topics:

  1. Internal Safety by Design policies  
  2. Acceptable Use policies  
  3. Employee safety practices 
  4. Formal safety review processes
  5. Registration considerations 
  6. Risk thresholds and profiles 
  7. Internal operational guidelines 
  8. Safety risk and impact assessments
  9. Internal mechanisms 
  10. Duty of care – staff wellbeing 

Module 3

Moderation, escalation and enforcement practices

This module covers the need for a proactive approach to detecting, moderating and reporting harmful and illegal content, including legal obligations. Well-defined moderation practices, reporting pathways and escalation processes can ensure organisations have efficient workflows and can act on violations quickly and efficiently. 

Module 3 topics:

  1. Harm prevention detection processes 
  2. Service monitoring practices 
  3. Moderation practices 
  4. Duty of care – staff wellbeing 
  5. Crisis management 
  6. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for illegal content 
  7. Triage and escalation processes  
  8. Enforcement

Module 4

End user impact assessment 

This module covers issues around embedding the rights and safety of users into products and services. How products are designed and the features and tools they use impact and shape how users behave. By prioritising the best interest of users, products and services can be built to support, amplify and strengthen human agency and autonomy. 

Module 4 topics:

  1. Community standards 
  2. Default settings 
  3. Social contract 
  4. End user options / Technical tools 
  5. Safety features 
  6. Reporting mechanisms 
  7. Appeals process 
  8. Feedback loop 
  9. End user safety

Module 5

Transparency and accountability

Transparency and accountability are hallmarks of a sound approach to online safety. They provide assurances that services are operating in line with their published safety goals but can also assist in educating users about how they can address their own safety concerns. Trust can be built, but it needs to be built. This module runs through the steps organisations can take to be more open and transparent.

Module 5 topics:

  1. Public information 
  2. Informing users 
  3. Measurement
  4. Internal review 
  5. Independent review and evaluation  
  6. External mechanisms 
  7. Publication