User Content Moderation: A Important Guideline

Content moderation is important to the digital world's success: it ensures that online communities are secure, inclusive, and fulfill their growth objectives. Content moderation, on the other hand, is a difficult process. This article discusses six essential practices that all online communities should follow to protect their users and revenue.

What is the Importance of Content Moderation?

The 2020 presidential election, social media network Parler experienced rapid growth, gaining 4 million followers in just two weeks. Conservatives backed Parler as a viable alternative to liberal-leaning social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. With a lenient content moderation policy, Parler was billed as a "free speech alternative." 

Parler relies on user complaints, which are subsequently examined by platform moderators, rather than traditional content regulation. However, due to Parler's lax content control mechanism, it became a target for pornographers, with tens of thousands of pornographic images and videos being posted to regular users' feeds in just a few days1. This messed up the user experience and hampered the platform's growth.

Platforms face criticism from the media and government agencies when users, consciously or inadvertently, create content that violates guidelines. Having illegal, unpleasant, or offensive information on your site degrades the user experience, resulting in increased churn and revenue losses. In addition, effective content management protects the brand's reputation and messaging.

 Content Moderation: What Types Are There?1.Moderators are human

Many platforms hire people to review user-generated content (either directly as full-time employees or through large outsourcing firms). It is possible to recognize banned behaviors and interpret the context, helping one to respond appropriately to a situation.

2.Keyword and RegEx lists

Most platforms use a filtering system that refers to lists of banned words, expressions, IP addresses, or emails. This system allows services to remove user moderation content matching filtering. Human moderators may benefit from this, lightening their workload to a point, but they are not an effective solution for several reasons:

It's difficult to keep up with: The lists must be manually updated, evaluated, and controlled.

It's simple to get around: Simply substitute a zero for the letter "O" and the filter will ignore it.

I'm unable to understand the context: Because an action like cyber harassment is based on the context of the action as much – if not more – than the content itself, banned behaviors might arise without utilizing banned words or expressions.

3. Reporting by users

Setting up a method for users to report toxic behaviors they see on your platform is similar to crowdsourcing content moderation in that it provides a resource for your platform to detect banned activities. Simultaneously, it gives consumers a sense of agency, allowing them to take action after seeing something terrible, hopefully reducing the negative repercussions of the encounter.

4. Using artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence that can read contextual clues to accurately identify and respond to illegal behaviors in real time, across languages, is the newest in content moderation. Because it is more difficult to circumvent and read context, this technique outperforms filters. It outperforms human moderators because it is quick, efficient, and does not subject employees to the stress of repeated viewings.

More crucially, it improves over time as data is collected and given back into the algorithm, making it stronger at detecting and responding to hazardous behaviors.

The Best Practices for Content Moderation

If you would like to implement content moderation on your platform, or if you would like to improve the present system, consider the following:

1. Choose a method or mix that works for you 

A different content moderation solution may be necessary depending on the volume of UGC on your platform and the strictness of your community guidelines. For your platform, a term filter combined with a content moderating staff, or user reporting that is then evaluated by moderators, might be the best option.

2. Develop and publish community guidelines 

The expectations should be clear, comprehensive, and accessible to all users. As you describe the actions that are encouraged and discouraged on your platform - with examples, if possible - the better everyone will understand behavior expectations.

3. Support all languages 

It is a good idea to cover the languages that are used on your platform in the community guidelines and other forms of content moderation. Due to the difficulty of communicating consequences, appeals, and other actions outside of the home language, multiple languages must be supported for clarity and transparency.

4. Encourage positive behavior as well 

There should be examples of both negative and positive behavior included in the community guidelines. Look for ways to reward positive interactions, just as toxic behaviors have negative consequences. It might be possible to distribute badges based on participation or longevity, or number of posts by an individual.

5. Take into account all types of content 

UGC is not limited to written comments and other content; it can also include video moderation, comment moderation, social moderation live chat, images, etc. No matter what type of content is being moderated, a safe, inclusive user experience must be created in every interaction.

6. Everyone is responsible for safety 

It cannot happen in a silo - it requires buy-in and effort from key stakeholders across the organization. Creating successful, comprehensive moderation plans requires support and input from product, marketing, advertising, and the executive suite.

7. Ensure transparency in the system 

A content moderation strategy must include rules and guidelines, as well as penalties for breaking them. And the platform will be responsible for ensuring that the sanctions are administered properly and evenly, with no undue impact on any group of marginalized people. The creation of a content moderation process built on a foundation of transparency, including regular review and reporting, is vital to the process's long-term viability.

Consider an automated system that operates in real time, across different languages, and can analyze the context of content to ensure accurate, effective, and customized content moderation when implementing or upgrading content moderation for your digital environment.

Last Word

By enforcing high standards on your site through content moderation for a company, you protect yourself from a variety of legal issues, protect your growing community, and ultimately demonstrate that you care about not only the environment you create, but also how your company interacts with the rest of the world.