How Peer Messaging Flags and Content Moderation Work

Tawnya -

When a student or alum receives a message, they can accept or decline the message.  Both parties will also have the ability to flag a message, blocking the conversation from continuing until further review by Handshake’s Content Moderation team.

To flag a message, the student or alum will need to click on the three dots in the top right of the message box, then click on "Flag Conversation": 



When they have clicked that option, they will be able to select a flag reason: 


Once a reason has been selected, the student/alum will be able to enter any comments they'd like to share and click on "Submit". 

This will send the report to our Content Moderation Team, who will review the messages and concerns, then loop in the school as needed for awareness and/or followup.


Student Safety & Effective Use

Facilitating Effective Messaging

  • Handshake will instate a Code of Conduct that each student and alumni will be prompted to agree to before using this feature
  • Students and alumni will be provided with optional messaging request templates once they select their reason for initiating a message with a student or alum. They will also be provided with optional “reasons for declining” templates.
    • Please note that the decline reason will not be shared with the message sender! 

Safeguards for Instances of Misuse

  • 100% of the messages will go through Handshake’s “text analyzers” to prevent inappropriate content from being sent
  • If a student receives a message that is not appropriate, they have the ability to flag that message - blocking the conversation from continuing until further review by Handshake’s content moderation team. Students can also block another student or alumni from ever messaging them again.
  • For any reports of illegal activity - Handshake will report any review that mentions illegal activity, particularly sexual harassment or assault, directly to the Director of the Career Center (and main POC), so that the institution can handle the report through its normal legal reporting channels.
  • Handshake will tell the student the message was referred to the Career Center.

Protection from University Liability

Our corporate counsel has reviewed the product and has confirmed that Universities are not responsible for student messaging on Handshake for the following reasons:

  • Settled law:  Universities provide email services and other student to student messaging services.  They are not responsible for the student’s communication on the services.
  • Handshake services are neutral:  Handshake Messaging does not encourage or specifically enable gender based targeting of students.
  • Handshake TOS/PP governs: Only students that agree to Handshake TOS/PP are able to use Student Messaging.
  • Handshake Moderation Policy: Designed to focus conversation on career; prevent issues from escalating.

If you have any questions about this initiative, please don't hesitate to reach out to your Handshake representative!

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