The safety of students on Handshake is of the utmost importance to Handshake. Our Trust and Safety team is dedicated to creating and iterating on policies and practices that inspire trust from our users while enabling students and legitimate employers to facilitate connections.
As part of this process, we encourage each institution to define their employer approval standards and expectations. We provide a Trust Score per company, to help career centers to get a general sense of the employer's engagement on Handshake to-date, and a flagging system, which enables Career Services users to share concerns with colleagues at other Handshake-partnered institutions.
As described in the Employer Account Guidelines section of our Terms of Service, Handshake does not allow hate speech or any discriminatory practices that may create an environment of intimidation and/or exclusion.
- Processing Employer Approval Requests
- Safety: Employer Trust Score
- Safety: Fraudulent Employers
- For additional information on our flagging process:
Our dedicated Trust and Safety team seeks to provide as much information to our higher education partners as possible through our Trust Score and other flags, ultimately allowing schools to make the decision about which employers to approve.
Consistent with this policy, we consider the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) list of ideological extremist groups to be a reliable third-party source for our flagging system; flagging employers that are on this list fits within our current process of allowing institutions to make their own choices about whether to approve an employer within their instance of Handshake, as long as those organizations are not fraudulent, illegal, or violent. If a group is known to be illegal or violent (using information provided by the US Department of State and the FBI), they are removed from our platform immediately.
SPLC classifies a hate group as an organization that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.
January 2021 Updates
As we continue to provide the most transparent, trustworthy platform possible for our higher education partners and students, we released the following updates to our product to increase transparency for our higher education partners:
- If an employer is identified as a hate group by the SPLC, the flag will bring the employer’s Trust Score to zero—ensuring these employers are not automatically approved by any school.
- Accounts flagged as a hate group by the SPLC have more prominence so it's easier for higher education partners to see. Any employer with this flag will have a prominent red box on the employer profile page, in addition to showing up with all other flags when you click through the profile page.
- Flags now show more detail about why the SPLC has singled them out. Our goal is to provide more transparency to education partners so they can determine which employers are appropriate for their student community.
This is an example of the text that will display on the employer's company profile:
We're committed to building the best experience for all students from all backgrounds, while also reflecting the needs of each of our higher ed partners. We will continue to review our broader policies around this and related issues in tandem with our partners as part of our Trust and Safety advisory board (topical advisory boards are how we gather higher education review and feedback on important policies and product features). We will update this article if and when we update our broader policy through this process with our Trust and Safety advisory board.
The SPLC updates their list annually in the spring, and our Trust and Safety team is committed to ensuring alignment between the SPLC list and employers that exist in Handshake. For the full current list, please refer to our live tracker.