How TikTok’s head of U.S. safety finds a way to log off social media


It really is not quick for Eric Han to get away from work or social media. Han, 35, is the head of U.S. protection at TikTok, which observed its consumer foundation skyrocket for the duration of lockdowns. Given that 2020, the social media application has also acquired increasing scrutiny in excess of how it handles the distribute misinformation, disinformation and graphic content in a volatile global information cycle.

Han has expended 14 a long time in the trust and security space and started out his job as a content material moderator, all of which is to say work is always fast paced. But supplied his intense workload, Han says it is critical for him to decompress by taking meaningful breaks, and to model it as a chief to his crew.

“To be fairly truthful, for have confidence in and security individuals, in particular for myself, it is really variety of a thrust to get us to get PTO,” Han tells CNBC Make It. “The field appeals to a ton of altruistic people who are mission-pushed and have a mentality of wanting to retain the platform protected.”

But this form of lifestyle can lead people today to burn up out, even at a enterprise like TikTok that delivers U.S. staff 17 getaway times for each calendar year. “We’ll explain to folks who haven’t taken getaway in a though, ‘You’ve obtained to sluggish down to velocity up,'” Han suggests.

Right here, Han shares how even a have faith in and safety skilled at a social media firm can unplug from perform.

How he replaced his vacation pastime for the duration of Covid lockdowns: I’m the style of particular person who options journeys and has sufficient Google docs, Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor tabs open up to crash a computer system. But for the duration of the pandemic, my wife, who will work in medication, and I could not get our common significant trips to Southeast Asia or Europe. So, we designed a garden.

I’ve advised my staff, “I am heading to get two times off to just plant seedlings.” I under no circumstances assumed I would be the style of individual that has a preferred tomato — which is black krim, by the way — but two-and-a-fifty percent decades into it, that is where my peace aspect is. There is a profit to the place I can have a Zen time period and just go exterior in the course of the working day. I can pepper it in during the working day or get a day or two off to just sit in my backyard.

The significance of redefining what time off appears to be like: Contemplating the work we do in have faith in and protection, and presented the heavy information cycle not too long ago, we understand our staff needs excess time to decompress. From a leadership viewpoint, we have to make absolutely sure we not only have the ideal intention in area, but also make confident at an institutional level we have methods baked in, like mental wellness days and psychological guidance expert services.

Guidelines to prevent examining social media on holiday vacation: I have applied an application referred to as Liberty that boundaries my obtain to specified web-sites and apps. Other occasions, I will just delete social media like Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok off my cellphone. The obstacle is always sticking to it.

I don’t convey my cellphone to specific locations. Often I will leave it locked in the resort. My dad and mom grew up in a village in Malaysia, so when I check out I can be intentional and consider, “I’m likely to a element of the place that would not have superior reception in any case.” I can flip off my Twitter brain or not look at Instagram.

I also do a great deal of pictures when I travel, so I can focus on that.

Why he and his team are frequently encouraging breaks: We’re speaking about time off all the time. It is really just like expressing, “Hey, how are you? What’d you do this weekend? And, oh, do you need more time off?”

We’re all very expressive folks and we acquire treatment of each other. A great deal of that is built into our society, in phrases of generating guaranteed that we look at in and stimulate every single other to do enjoyable matters.

What he’d convey to his 25-calendar year-previous self about getting time off: Be extra adventurous.

Just about every 5 to seven decades, I would go on journeys with my mother and father to exactly where they grew up in Southeast Asia. In my 20s, I would a great deal instead be heading out with my good friends in Vegas. I almost certainly had a youthful mind-set of, “I am going to a village with no reception?” Now, I are unable to hold out to do people items.

It took me a though to believe of how considerably of a privilege it was to hook up not only with my loved ones, but my ancestors and exactly where I arrived from. People were some of the a lot more transformative times I have had as an unique mastering where by I arrived from.

This interview has been edited for duration and clarity.

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