The Facebook company’s Policy team is at the forefront of an important global conversation about building policies that creating a safe, vibrant, and inclusive experience online.
Our mission is to bring the world closer together, and a big part of that is accomplishing it in ways that are safe and protect people’s privacy,” Clara K., Head of Public Policy in Singapore, explains. “Our technology touches the lives of billions of people, which is incredibly exciting, but we also have massive responsibility. Working closely with policy makers and governments, academics, and civil society organizations, we have the opportunity to build a healthy internet ecosystem. We’re helping shape the world for years to come.” To learn more, we talked with APAC Policy team members in Singapore about the impactful work they’re doing across Singapore Policy, Content Policy, and WhatsApp Policy teams.
Clara K., Singapore Policy
Clara is the Head of Public Policy at Facebook in Singapore.
What does it mean to be successful in your role?
My team works closely with external stakeholders in government, civil society, and academia, and we serve as the bridge between these organizations and Facebook. We do this to inform the policy making process in Singapore, and so we can build better products and policies to manage potential gaps or risks in the market. I was previously a diplomat and I see my work at Facebook as a diplomatic role as well.
Success means being recognized as a dedicated partner and a constructive voice in Singapore. The same things that initially attracted me to my role, such as solving unique and difficult challenges, keep me inspired today. I know how much our work truly matters.
Are there any initiatives you’re particularly proud of?
As a company, we're heavily committed to protecting election integrity. Working together to mitigate risk for the Singapore elections in July of 2020 was an eye-opening experience. It showed me the impact we can make.
A number of teams took over a year to prepare for the Singapore elections, focusing on areas like tackling misinformation, providing transparency, and ensuring authentic discussion. I worked with internal partners to expand our fact-checking program in Singapore and roll out an ads transparency policy
. We also worked with election candidates to verify their pages and launched a public education campaign about how to spot fake political profiles. These efforts showcased how we can be a constructive partner in Singapore, and I was so proud to see the impact our efforts had on protecting the integrity of the election on our platform.
“At Facebook, we’re all encouraged to do our best work. Our culture offers a safe space to share opinions and fresh perspectives, rather than creating fear or uncertainty.”
At the Facebook office in Kuala Lumpur.
How does Facebook empower you to do your best work?
The nature of our work is extremely complex. This means that I’m pushed out of my comfort zone nearly every day. Working cross-functionally across the company enables me to deepen my knowledge across a broad range of areas.
Though public speaking and talking with the media about tough issues stretch me in new ways, I feel fully supported by leadership. At Facebook, we’re all encouraged to do our best work. Our culture offers a safe space to share opinions and fresh perspectives, rather than creating fear or uncertainty. The opportunities to push yourself and grow are endless.
Ayesha H., Content Policy
Ayesha works on the Content Policy team at Facebook in Singapore.
“Our unique viewpoints help us all understand how a wide spectrum of issues—such as violence, hate speech, fraud, terrorism, nudity, and spam—affect different regions and global communities. Each person’s voice is equally important, and we need to consider everyone when we think about our community guidelines and write policies. We’re continually working to find the right balance between speech and safety for billions of people around the world.”
Why are diversity and inclusion important to you and to Facebook?
I spent the first 15 years of my life as a refugee before returning home to Afghanistan. My personal experiences have shaped my work in policy. I’m naturally inclined to think about questions like, “How would this policy impact minority groups?” and “How would this affect people in conflict zones?”
I also think about what it means to belong to a specific nationality, speak a certain language, and associate with a gender identity. Only through diversity can we understand different perspectives and create policies that are truly inclusive of the people around the world who use our products.
The Public Policy organization is composed of team members with different nationalities and diverse backgrounds, empowering different perspectives.
How do diversity and inclusion impact the work you and your team do on the Content Policy team?
Our team is responsible for establishing policies that determine what is and isn’t allowed on our platforms. Across the team, we represent a multitude of different expertise, nationalities, ethnicities, gender identities, and languages. We all bring a unique perspective. We often disagree and debate, which is really important.
Our unique viewpoints help us all understand how a wide spectrum of issues—such as violence, hate speech, fraud, terrorism, nudity, and spam—affect different regions and global communities. Each person’s voice is equally important, and we need to consider everyone when we think about our community guidelines and write policies. We’re continually working to find the right balance between speech and safety for billions of people around the world.
You moved from Dubai to Singapore. What helped you settle and grow into a new role in a new place?
Relocating with Facebook was an amazing experience because the entire process was effortless and so smooth—but I credit my team with helping me settle and grow into a new role. I was surprised by how welcome I felt from the moment I joined the team. Coming from government work, which was protocol heavy and very formal, I love the sense of camaraderie and friendship we have here. People really care about each other. It’s like one big family, and we’re all in it together.
Simon H., WhatsApp Policy
Simon is the Public Policy Manager for Whatsapp in Australia.
How does Facebook empower team members to explore different paths and own their career growth?
Our company culture encourages people to think about their unique career goals. And because we’re a diverse organization, there are a lot of cultural differences in the way people approach their work.
If you want to develop your skills and take advantage of the many opportunities that come up across the organization, the company encourages you to take the initiative. I've always been empowered to pursue different ways to make a positive impact at Facebook and WhatsApp, even if that meant switching roles. For example, I’ve been both a manager and an individual contributor (IC). While my time building and managing a team has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, being an IC has given me the opportunity to focus on other aspects of my work and expand my professional capabilities. Being able to transition to or from a management track so seamlessly is empowering for growth, and it’s an opportunity that many people appreciate.
“I’ve been both a manager and an individual contributor (IC). While my time building and managing a team has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, being an IC has given me the opportunity to focus on other aspects of my work and expand my professional capabilities.”
You transitioned from the Content Policy team to WhatsApp. What inspired you to make the change? What was the experience like?
I’ve been working on content issues for the last six years of my career, but I think it’s important to challenge yourself. I saw the opportunity at WhatsApp as a chance to switch gears and learn new skills.
Having encouragement to shift into something different is one of the greatest things about working at the Facebook company. You don’t need to leave behind any of the relationships or knowledge you’ve built. I still collaborate with people I worked closely with in my last role on issues that aren’t specific to WhatsApp.
What excites you most about your role and what you’re working on now?
At WhatsApp, we’re tackling new challenges that no one has worked on to this extent or fully solved yet. I’ve always liked working on something where I can make an impact, and I know we’ve only scratched the surface. From improving online safety and end-to-end encryption to enhancing WhatsApp for payments, there’s so much more we plan to do.
Having fun together outside of the office.
Learn about open roles in our Policy teams here