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Understanding Content Moderation

Digital space is highly influenced by user-generated content — as we all can see, an unimaginable volume of text, images, and videos are shared on multiple social media and other online platforms/websites. With numerous social media platforms, forums, websites, and other online platforms in access, businesses and brands can’t keep track of all the content users share online.

the girl at the microphone in the Studio
Cogito Tech LLC

Keeping tabs on social influences on brand perception and complying with official regulations are essential to maintaining a safe and trustworthy environment. Objectives that aim to create a safe & healthy online environment can be achieved effectively through content moderation, i.e., the process of screening, monitoring, and labeling user-generated content in compliance with platform-specific rules.

Individuals’ online opinions published on social media channels, forums, and media publishing sites have become a substantial source to measure the credibility of businesses, institutions, commercial ventures, polls & political agendas, etc.

What is Content Moderation?

The content moderation process involves screening users’ posts for inappropriate text, images, or videos that, in any sense, are relatable to the platform or have been restricted by the forum or the law of the land. A set of rules is used to monitor content as part of the process. Any content that does not comply with the guidelines is double-checked for inconsistencies, i.e., if the content is appropriate to be published on the site/platform. If any user-generated content is found inconsistent to be posted or published on the site, it is flagged and removed from the forum.

There are various reasons why people may be violent, offensive, extremist, nudist, or otherwise may spread hate speech and infringe on copyrights. The content moderation program ensures that users are safe while using the platform and tend to promote businesses’ credibility by upholding brands’ trust. Platforms such as social media, dating applications and websites, marketplaces, and forums use content moderation to keep content safe.

Exactly why does content moderation matter to you

User-generated content platforms struggle to keep up with inappropriate and offensive text, images, and videos due to the sheer amount of content created every second. Therefore, ensuring that your brand’s website adheres to your standards, protects your clients, and maintains your reputation through content moderation is paramount.

The digital assets, e.g., business websites, social media, forums, and other online platforms, must be under strict scrutiny to ascertain that the content posted thereon is in line with the standards set out by the media and the various platforms. In any violation, the content must be accurately moderated, i.e., flagged and removed from the site. Content moderation here serves the purpose – it can be summed up to be an intelligent data management practice that allows platforms to be free of any inappropriate content, i.e., content that in any way is abusive, explicit, or unsuitable for online publishing.

Content Moderation Types

Content moderation has different types based on the types of user-generated content posted on the sites and the specifics of the user base. The sensitivity of the content, the platform that the content has been posted on, and the intent behind the user content are some critical factors for determining content moderation practices. Content moderation can be done in several ways. Here are the five significant types of content moderation techniques that have been in practice for some time:

1 – Automated Moderation

Technology helps simplify, ease, and speed up the moderating process today. The algorithms powered by artificial intelligence analyze text and visuals in a fraction of the time it would take people to do it. Most importantly, they don’t suffer psychological trauma because they are not subjected to unsuitable content.

Text can be screened for problematic keywords using automated moderation. More advanced systems can also detect conversational patterns and relationship analysis.

AI-powered image annotation and recognition tools like Imagga offer a highly viable solution for monitoring images, videos, and live streams. Various threshold levels and types of sensitive imagery can be controlled through such solutions.

While tech-powered moderation is becoming more precise and practical, it cannot eliminate the need for manual content review, especially when the appropriateness of the content is the genuine concern. That’s why automated moderation still combines technology and human moderation.

2- Pre-Moderation

Content moderation this way is the most extensive method where every piece of content is reviewed before being published. The text, image, or video content meant to be published online is first sent to the review queue to analyze it for suitability for online posting. Content that the content moderator has explicitly approved goes live only after the necessary moderation.

While this is the safest approach to barricade harmful content, the process is slow and not applicable to the rapid online world. However, platforms requiring strict content compliance measures can implement the pre-moderation method for fixing the content. A typical example is platforms for children where the security of the users comes first.

3 – Post-Moderation

Generally, content is screened through post-moderation. The posts can be made whenever the user wants, but they are queued up for moderation before they are published. Whenever an item is flagged for removal, it is removed to ensure the safety of all users.

The platforms aim to reduce the time that inappropriate content remains online by speeding up review time. Today, many digital businesses prefer post-moderation even though it is less secure than pre-moderation.

4 – Reactive Moderation

As part of reactive moderation, users are asked to flag content they think is inappropriate or breaches the terms of service of your platform. Depending on the situation, it may be a good solution.

To optimize results, reactive moderation should be used in conjunction with post-moderation or as a standalone method. In this case, you get a double safety net, as users can flag content even after it has passed the moderation process.

5 – Distributed Moderation

Online communities are entirely responsible for reviewing and removing content in this type of moderation. Users rate content according to their compliance with platform guidelines. However, because of its reputational and legal risks, this method is seldom used by brands.

For more information – https://readwrite.com/a-guide-to-content-moderation-types-and-tools/