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Implementing Content Moderation Techniques and Practices

Content moderation has made the digital world safe and secure for online users to browse, share, post and comment in different forms and expose their personal content online. The penetration of social media channels has largely influenced the amount of data (read content) generated by billions of users across the world. Today, it has become the need of the hour.

Let us check out below why, how and what makes content moderation techniques are making the change happen in this direction.

The social sphere

It is difficult to be fair in an unfair world; the quote hits straight in our faces. While we desire for a clean ecosystem to interact and function, the spammers or people with vicious intentions might not think the same way. Thankfully, moderation can be done on online platforms to a good extent. Content moderators flag off billions of content pieces everyday to make the online ecosystem free from hate speech, spamming, and other types of objectionable content. While content moderation companies are adding value in the online world through human effort and AI techniques combined.

There are various acts of violence, and fraud being posted or conducted online, making the online world highly unsafe to thrive in. A high number of suicides have been live streamed on social media channels like Facebook, insinuating a horrendous experience for fellow users. Quoting further, Instagram removed a gross total of 64.6% of UGC or user generated content related to bullying, and online harassment by the end of 2020.

What is termed as UGC?

With social media, came the term UGC or user generated content. Short videos, picture posts, textual comments, and live streams are effectively moderated through content moderation techniques. You can watch short videos for hours on TikTok, Facebook Watch, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. However, for keeping the video platforms safe and sane, human content moderators are eligible to take the credit. Not merely this, every post that passes through individual glare passes through an AI backed content moderation system, helping maintain the balance of what is right and should be in the public domain.

Types of content requiring flagging/moderation

A content moderator's job in the real world is not easy. Good amount of indecent, inflammatory and objectionable content passes through a content moderator’s eye before being flagged for AI applications to block.

Here are some major categories for which active content moderation is practiced.

  • Bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Sex solicitation
  • Drugs and weapons
  • Terrorism
  • Self-harm, suicide
  • Violent graphics
  • Radicalization
  • Misogyny
  • Harassment, insults
  • Scams, fraud
  • Spams
  • Child sexual abuse material
  • Underage users

Most content in the above mentioned categories is segregated to send for AI content moderation and making online communities safe for functioning. In addition to this, major online social communities are making extensive use of Artificial Intelligence backed with machine learning algorithms to identify the content as per the moderation categories. Once the content is found, the normal process of human-backed flagging, followed by Artificial Intelligence applications intervening to block the content is implemented.

The scenarios for content moderation implementation

Content moderation categories are defined, however, the scenarios for implementing content moderation techniques visibly vary.

Social media

Topping the content moderation priority list, social media rules the content generation sphere. With a staggering 7.8 billion user base, social media platforms Facebook reports daily content generation in billions per day. Photos, videos and textual content can be found in ample amounts on Facebook. Facebook usage features such as making independent pages for individual or business promotion have been used for promoting issues such as radicalization and religious hate speech. Globally, Facebook employs a large number of content moderators to keep the platform safe for usage and also releases content guidelines, in regular intervals.

Video platforms

Numerous short video platforms such as TikTok, and YouTube attract millions of users for uploading video content. According to Statista, about 500 hours of video content was uploaded every minute on YouTube. Such gigantic amounts of content also passed through human moderation before being blocked by Artificial Intelligence under content guidelines. Moderators sift through many video clips each day and help keep the platform free from various harmful and visually dangerous content. Watching videos and picking out spurious content can be a tough task however, a mechanism of content moderators and AI working together has helped in keeping the video communities safe.

Closed communities (web portals)

If online users are in billions, web portals are no less. Millions of business web portals like leading news publications encourage commenting on popular news links. Also some of the popular social gaming communities such as GameSpot, Reddit and VGR have resorted to content moderations. With users harassing their peers, often, the conversation diverts and can become abusive or hateful. For keeping such closed communities wherein, regular users can express their views clearly, content moderation can be effectively implemented.

Ecommerce user review

Retail portals and online ecommerce stores also attract millions of buyers who post product reviews every minute and serve as the first-source of recommendation for other customers. Online reviews have become a popular marketing tool as well for brands to promote their goodwill among the masses. On the flipside, however, a bad review which is offensive in nature can hurt the online reputation of a brand. In Ecommerce domain, content moderation helps in maintaining the brand image and also blocks deliberate hateful content from hurting the online image of the company.

Crypto/financial communities

Cryptocurrency usage has peaked in the past couple of years. Popular Cryptocurrency platforms such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Tether have allowed individual participation in financial transactions. There are some crypto communities which also provide peer-to-peer conversation or interaction in sub-communities across different social domains. The scope for interactions in such communities helps in establishing trustworthy conversation and dependable networking among peers.

Final takeaway

Content is available in all forms across major social media channels and web domains. The power of content is undeniable; social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat thrive on the same.

Content moderation services have brought a sign of relief for world’s leading online social platforms, media houses, ecommerce stores and big consumer brands from painfully axing opinions. The usage of artificial intelligence has aggravated the efforts of human moderators to considerable extents, making the online ecosystem a secure landscape to explore.

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Tags: ai, companies, content, media, moderation, services, social

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