What is Content Moderation and Why Is It Important for Your Business?
Content moderation is the process of monitoring and removing unwanted parts of user-generated content focused on platform-specific rules and criteria to ascertain if the content should be allowed to publish on the platform or not. To keep it simple, when the content is submitted to a website, it will undergo a review process to ensure that the content preserves the rules of the website and is not illegal or inappropriate in any way.
It is one of the most common practices on digital platforms that greatly relies on user-generated content like social media platforms, online marketplaces, dating websites, communities and more.
There are different types of content moderation like pre-moderation, post-moderation, reactive moderation, distributed moderation and automated moderation. In this post, we are going to take a look at human moderation and automated moderation in detail. So, let’s begin.
What is human moderation?
Human or manual type of moderation is the practice when humans manually review and monitor user-generated content which has been submitted to a digital medium. The human moderation method follows platform friendly guidelines to safeguard digital users by keeping unwanted content (illegal or inappropriate) away from the website.
What is automated moderation?
Automated moderation is any kind of user generated content submitted to a digital medium will be accepted, denied or simply sent for human moderation depending on the guidelines set by the platform. Automated moderation is perfect for digital platforms who are looking to ensure that high quality content goes live without a second thought and the users are safe to interact with the content on their website.
As per a recent report from Microsoft, the attention span of humans is roughly 8 seconds on an average. Hence, digital platforms cannot have a slow display of user generated content or they might lose their users. Similarly, users who come across poor content, spam, scam etc. are more likely to leave the site quickly. When we talk about automated moderation, it is often related to machine learning AI or automated filters.
What is AI moderation?
AI moderation is a machine learning model that is built from user data to effectively get hold of unwanted user-generated content. An AI moderation solution will make the following auto moderation actions like denying, approving or escalating content automatically.
Till the time there are high quality dataset models that can be built on, AI moderation is an ideal choice for day-to-day decision making. It works best at handling cases that are very similar in nature. It generally includes a huge number of items that are posted to online marketplaces and in any way, these platforms can take the advantage of using AI moderation.
It must be noted that AI moderation can be performed on any generic data. These models can be extremely useful but are not as accurate as they do not take into account the rules and regulations of the website.
What is Automated Filter moderation?
Automated filter moderation is a set of ground rules to instantly underline and catch inappropriate content. The filters are great at finding content that can’t be figured out or are outright scams.
Filters are also best for protection against sudden changes in rules and regulations, where the AI has not been set up yet. A good example of this is the shortage of masks and toilet paper last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is quite easy to create, edit and set up an all-inclusive content moderation system.
Now, let us discuss the do’s and don’t of content moderation.
Do’s of Content Moderation
Choose The Moderation Method Wisely
You can start by checking the kind of content that is hosted on your website and determining your target audience. By doing so, you will get a better understanding of what is required from the moderation method and setup. For instance, the kind of user generated content on different platforms is different along with their user behaviour. Hence, each platform will need a specific set up based on particular platform requirements.
Establish Lucid Rules and Regulations
The content moderation rules and regulations must be transparent for all the stakeholders involved in your platform’s content moderation. Everyone starting from the data scientist in your AI moderation team to the human moderators reviewing different types of content must be aware of the rules and regulations. It can seriously hamper your moderation efforts if there is any room for uncertainty in your rulebook.
Moderate Various Types of Content
Doesn’t matter if you are running a digital marketplace, dating site or a social networking site, the key contributors of content are your end users. It is important to ensure they are having an enjoyable experience and are always greeted with quality content on your website. To make this happen, you must ensure your content moderation is on point.
In an ideal world, it would be best to moderate each and every type of content on your site from the text to images and videos etc. In reality, it is not achievable for all digital platforms due to technical and financial constraints. If that is the case with your content, you must start prioritising your content and start the moderation process based on set priorities.
Don’t Do’s of Content Moderation
Confuse What Content Moderation Is
Premium content is necessary to build user trust and get quality user experience on your digital platform but it is also vital to know what good content is. Try not to make the grave mistake of confusing good content and end up dismissing user-generated content because of the negative nature. For instance, you can allow a negative comment or review regarding your product or service provided there is no harsh language used. You should look for genuine content to improve the quality and trust of the user.
Wait Too Long To Get Started
If you are in the initial stages of setting up your digital platform, starting the content moderation process might seem overwhelming. To be honest, it should not be your primary priority but you will still need a general idea of how to handle user-generated content when you grow. When you start growing as a business, a lot of content will start flowing on your website. You must be ready to handle that part and if that is not the case then it might actually hurt you in the long run.
You don’t need to make monumental changes as there are a lot of content moderation tools available in the market today. You must work on handling the resources properly and try to focus on innovation and growth. Look for better ways to free up resources for new things without falling behind on the content moderation front.
Monitoring user generated content on any digital platform and weeding out offensive content based on a set of regulations is content moderation. It can include text, photos, videos and any type of content that consist of violence, sexual or sensitive content or hate speech. Content moderation is quite challenging for human moderators and continued exposure can lead to a havoc on their mental health. Businesses need to work out a way to respond to these types of user generated content depending on the guidelines mentioned by the country’s location.
Dhruvil is a Writer & Marketeer for Nimblechapps, joining December 2014, based out of Sydney, Australia. He has worked briefly as a Branding and Digital Marketing Manager before moving to Australia. At Nimblechapps, he worked on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Email Marketing and Blogging. Dhruvil studies Business at University of Western Sydney, and also handles Operations for the company in Australia.