When trust and safety is going well, no one thinks about it or talks about it. And when trust and safety is going poorly, it’s usually something that leadership wants to blame on policies. Quite frankly, policies are going to be a Band-Aid if your product isn’t being designed in a way that actually doesn’t encourage abuse. You’ve got to plan there, guys.
From “Del” — former head of Trust & Safety at Twitter, an interview with Wired
n 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower took on the question of authoritarianism. Robert J. Biggs, a terminally ill World War II veteran, wrote to Eisenhower, asking him to cut through the confusion of the postwar years. “We wait for someone to speak for us and back him completely if the statement is made in truth,” Biggs wrote. Eisenhower responded at length. While unity was imperative in the military, he said, “in a democracy debate is the breath of life. This is to me what Lincoln meant by government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’”
Dictators, Eisenhower wrote, “make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems—freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.”
From Heather Cox Richardson’s note of November 20, 2023