What is content moderation?
Content moderation is the process of reviewing and removing content that is inappropriate, illegal, or harmful. It is a critical part of online safety, and essential for brands and charities that want to create a positive and safe online experience for their users.
There are a number of different types of content that may be moderated, including:
- Hate speech: This includes content that promotes false information, violence or hatred against a particular group of people.
- Violence: This includes content that depicts or promotes violence, such as images of people being hurt or killed. The violent content can refer to both virtual or real world actions.
- Child sexual abuse: This includes any material – written, visual or other – that depicts or promotes child sexual abuse, the sexual grooming of children or hyper sexualisation of a minor.
- Illegal content: This includes content that is illegal in the jurisdiction where it is being hosted.
- Spam: This includes content that may be unrelated to the topic of a conversation, or is sent unsolicited, such as promotional emails or messages.
Types of content moderation
Manual content moderation involves a team of moderators who review content and make decisions about whether it should be removed.
Automatic moderation uses software or AI to scan content for keywords or patterns that are associated with inappropriate content. Automatic moderation will automatically make decisions about the content which may report it up to a human for further review, or remove it altogether with no human intervention.
While AI moderation tools can help to identify and filter out potentially problematic or inappropriate content, human oversight is critical for contextual analysis and accurate decision-making. AI still has many limitations when it comes to keeping communities safe online. The moderation team at StrawberrySocial are trained to spot content designed to evade AI moderation filters such as emojis, constantly changing trends, slang, cultural and linguistic nuances, and code words.
There are different types of content moderation practices employed to manage user-generated content. Here are a few common types:
Pre-moderation: In this approach, content is reviewed and approved by moderators before it is publicly displayed. It allows for strict control over what content is published but can cause delays in content visibility.
Post-moderation: Content is published immediately and then reviewed by moderators after being made public. This approach enables faster content visibility but may require removal if it violates guidelines.
When taking a post-moderation approach, there are two subtypes of moderation:
Reactive moderation: Moderators intervene when content is reported or flagged by users or a technological reporting mechanism. They review the reported content and take appropriate action based on the platform’s guidelines and policies.
Proactive moderation: Here, moderators actively scan and monitor content without relying solely on user reports. They may actively review live content in real time, scroll through published content on forums or social media comments, use automated tools, AI, or keyword filters to identify and remove potentially inappropriate or harmful content.
What type of content moderation does your business need?
There are a number of different factors that brands and charities need to consider when deciding how to moderate content. These factors include:
- The type of organisation: Moderation activities vary according to the community and brand in question. For example, a gaming community might need live event ‘handlers’ to manage influencers in real time and ensure they stay on brand, whereas a children’s community may require Moderators to be on top of popular culture and understand young people and children’s policies around child safety.
- The size of the online community: The larger the community, the more likely it is to benefit from a professional moderation team of humans in combination with moderation tools and filters.
- The nature of the content: Some types of content, such as hate speech, are more likely to be reported than others.
- The resources available: Brands and charities need to consider the resources they have available to moderate content. StrawberrySocial offers flexible content moderation solutions for a range of leading charities, gaming companies and brands.
“Charity online communities, channels and forums require a different type of moderation and engagement. A subtler touch, an understanding of mental health and how it can affect people’s behaviour. A charity forum might need moderators to provide links and information to vulnerable people trying to access support.
Each community is different, each user important. At StrawberrySocial, we have the experience to understand how charity communities and social media works. Our community managers are veteran professionals; they are flexible, empathetic, resilient and supported by Management. They are able to moderate emotive threads about sensitive topics, and are trusted to help ensure that our charity client communities make a huge difference to their members.” Rebecca Fitzgerald, CEO and Founder, StrawberrySocial.
What are the benefits of content moderation?
- Creating a safe and positive online environment: Content moderation can help to create a safe and positive online environment for users. This can help reduce the risk of users being exposed to inappropriate or harmful content.
- Protecting users’ privacy: Content moderation can help to protect users’ privacy by removing content that could be used to identify or track users.
- Enhancing brand reputation: Brands and charities that are seen to be taking steps to moderate content can enhance their brand reputation. This can help to attract new customers and donors, and increase customer loyalty and longevity, resulting in a potential increase in donations and/or ROI .
- Understanding your user base’s needs in real time. Your community is a built-in focus group. By having the ability to review your community’s needs and fears in real time, you can adjust your internal product development more quickly and give your customers exactly what they’re looking for.
- Risk management and influencer due diligence: Reviewing potential influencers and moderating influencer content prior to and during a collaboration will significantly reduce the risk of trending for the wrong reasons.
What are the challenges associated with content moderation?
- The cost of moderation: Content moderation can be an expensive investment however, it IS an investment that pays off. It is far less expensive (both to your reputation and your budget) than dealing with the reputational damage or financial loss that can happen in the absence of a moderated community.
- The challenge of identifying all inappropriate content: It can be difficult to identify or catch all inappropriate content, especially if it is not explicitly stated. This is where our highly trained professional moderation team can support your internal marketing and communications teams.
Despite the challenges, content moderation is an important part of online presence and it is crucial for any organisation intent on building a positive and safe online experience for their users.
Content Moderation Tips for Brand Managers and Charity Marketers
Here are some additional tips for brand managers and charity marketers on content moderation:
- Be clear about your content moderation policies. Let users know what types of content are not allowed, and how they can report inappropriate content. Use plain language and advertise your guidelines in a public space for all to see.
- Use a variety of moderation methods. This will help to ensure that all types of inappropriate content are removed
- Train your moderators. Make sure that your moderators are familiar with your content moderation policies and are able to identify inappropriate content. We can help with this. Check out our Moderation Consultancy and In-House Training packages.
- Monitor your moderation efforts. Keep track of the types of content that is being removed and make adjustments to your moderation policies as needed.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about flexible moderation options, including no obligation trial periods..