When you search for information on Google or YouTube, you often find plenty of helpful listings. This is thanks to the many people and organizations producing relevant information on the internet and to Google’s algorithms to help you sort through the web to find what you’re looking for.
But someone must also review the content being created and posted to the internet to make sure it is not harmful, especially during pandemics or other crises.
That “someone” is a 1,200-person-strong unit within Google that works alongside an extended workforce of 10,000 personnel using various technological tools. This additional workforce is supplied by a number of vendors worldwide, each with their own Google contract. Managing these contracts is Scott Palmer, Law’07.
Palmer first became a Googler in 2016, working on sales contracts for its cloud services. Last year, he transitioned to his new role as Partnerships Manager within the Trust and Safety division.
Among its many internet-related products and services, Google offers nine products that each have a billion or more users. Unfortunately, some bad actors misuse those products in ways that range from violating Google’s terms of service to outright illegal activity – everything from simple spam to payment fraud, disinformation, counterfeit products, child sexual abuse material, violent extremism, and hate and harassment.
Palmer’s role is to manage relationships with the vendors around the world who help keep Google’s platforms safe for users.
“The work we do is very important,” he says. “We’re trying to safeguard users and ensure YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, the Play Store, and all of our products are free from such abuses as malware, spam, scams, and illegal activity. It’s a big responsibility, and it is one of those jobs where you can really appreciate your purpose, even within a big company.”
Since joining Google, Palmer has been based out of Singapore. Prior to his move to Asia, he worked in Australia and spent over seven years in London, U.K. He credits his time at Queen’s for opening his eyes to the opportunity to work abroad.
“During my studies, I completed an exchange semester in Australia, a semester at the Bader International Study Centre in England (the “Castle”), and an internship in South Africa,” he says. “Queen’s Law taught me that it’s possible to fold your passion for travel into your work and life plans. I am still grateful for that.”
It was also at Queen’s where Palmer first fell in love with law. He originally applied to law school somewhat on a whim, not having a strong familiarity with case law or other core concepts at the time. He says getting out into industry and seeing the law working in the real world has only grown his appreciation.
“I now find law so fascinating, and it all makes a little more sense now that I work in it,” he says. “I am considering going back for graduate studies in the future.”
For now, however, Palmer won’t be leaving Google. While the work is demanding, he says the rewarding results and the supportive environment make it all worth it.
“I am one of the culture champions in the office, so I tell new joiners and longtime Googlers alike that the culture and unique environment we have doesn’t come from beanbag chairs or LEGO walls; it comes from each one of us contributing positively,” he says. “It’s the people and their attitudes that make it a great place to work. I’m grateful every day for the opportunity.”
By Phil Gaudreau