Why the Census Bureau is establishing a “Trust & Safety” team

By Dr. Ron S. Jarmin, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, US Census | 12/22/2019, 11:06 p.m.
The 2020 Census is a nationwide count of all people living in the United States that occurs only once every ...

We launched the Trust & Safety Team over the summer ahead of the first major field operation for the 2020 Census — In-Field Address Canvassing. The operation was the last step in a decade-long effort to ensure we had the most accurate address list for the mailing of the census in mid-March 2020. With tens of thousands of workers in the field, we were able to test our abilities to monitor social and traditional media channels, coordinate with outside partners and stakeholders, and respond to rumors and misinformation about this major operation.

We also launched a dedicated page on our website, Fighting 2020 Census Rumors, and encouraged partners and stakeholders to report anything that looked suspicious to rumors@census.gov. We proactively monitored social media for rumors and were able to address the few that surfaced by working with the media, partners and stakeholders, and public officials. Today, the Trust & Safety Team is comprised of more than a dozen communications and social media experts under the executive leadership of career senior officials.

The Trust & Safety Team enhances our external relations work with a dedicated focus on protecting the accuracy of all 2020 Census information. Census Bureau leadership is dedicated to this mission and has devoted the necessary resources to be successful.

We need everyone to be vigilant in fighting misinformation, disinformation and troublesome rumors about the 2020 Census. Please email us at rumors@census.gov, if you see any resources, social media posting or websites that you believe contain inaccurate or false information about the 2020 Census.

An accurate count is important to everyone as it determines congressional representation for each state, and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds back to states and local communities every year for critical public services and infrastructure.