The digital world has a huge amount of useful content that grows minute by minute. People constantly exchange information and engage in meaningful communication. But alongside the good things that the Internet gives us, there is harmful and inappropriate content. Here’s when content moderation comes into play.
How to provide our online users with a safe and healthy environment? As a business or community that depends on user-generated content, you are responsible for the quality of content that appears on your platform. Every negative interaction affects the way your users perceive it. This is why it’s important for you to protect both your users and your reputation through content moderation.
In this article, you’ll learn more about content moderation, its benefits, types, and more.
What is Content Moderation?
Content moderation is the process of detecting and removing inappropriate content shared by people online on different platforms. Its main purpose is to keep online communities safe for users and help maintain their initial objective.
What is considered inappropriate content? In general, spam, scam, violence (graphic violence), explicit content, bullying, extremism, and other related content are considered harmful or inappropriate. All this content comes in different shapes and forms: text, audio, image, and video.
Without content moderation, your users can encounter any of this content while using your platform. This can lead to many serious consequences if you don’t moderate your content. You have 3 options: hire a content moderator, use automation tools, or both.
Who is a Content Moderator?
A content moderator is a person responsible for the safe online experiences of a community. Moderators review, evaluate, flag, and remove all the content from the platform that is considered inappropriate. They usually follow a set of rules that are based on predetermined guidelines.
Content moderators are the ones who view and block harmful content to make sure others don’t see it. This is why they are often prone to psychological distress.
Nowadays, there are many automated solutions that help them avoid all that harmful content. But still, content moderators are necessary to set up the guidelines and monitor the whole process.
Types of Content Moderation
Depending on your community size, guidelines, and user behavior, you can choose between different types of content moderation.
Here are the 5 common types:
Real-Time Automated Moderation
With automated moderation, the whole process relies on technology. This is why it’s faster, easier, and more effective. Using technological solutions helps content moderators review a huge amount of content and make sure that no harmful content reaches the audience.
This type provides high control over user-generated content. When users submit a post, it appears in a queue, then moderators check the content and decide whether it complies with community guidelines or not. The drawback is that it makes the content-sharing process on the platform slower.
With post-moderation, user-generated content appears on the platform immediately and then undergoes moderation. If it contains inappropriate content, moderators block it. This method doesn’t slow down the content-sharing process. But, on the other hand, users can encounter inappropriate content before the moderators review it.
Reactive moderation can be used alongside other types of content moderation. It relies mostly on users who report or flag content they find inappropriate or harmful. These flagged posts are later reviewed by moderators who make the final decision.
Distributed moderation is based on a rating system and relies on the community to determine inappropriate content. This way, the community is trusted to self-moderate and keep it clean from harmful content.
As you can see, all these types can fall into 2 main categories: manual and automated. They can be used separately, as well as combined. It all depends on your community needs, problems you want to solve, the amount of user-generated content, and other factors.
Why is Content Moderation Important?
We’ve already explained what content moderation is and its common types. But what are its main benefits? Why should you implement it on your platform or community?
According to research, the global user-generated content platform market is projected to reach over $20 billion by 2028 (27.1% CAGR). So, user-generated content is a great tool to build trust and boost brand awareness. But, it holds many risks including but not limited to explicit content, bullying, and other inappropriate content that can harm not only your community members but also your reputation.
So, what benefits can you get from content moderation? Below are some of the main ones:
Safe and Healthy Community
With content moderation, you can protect your community and create a healthy environment for them to communicate and share information.
High Engagement and Loyalty
When people feel safe and trust your community, they will come back and be active. This will lead to high engagement among community members and loyalty to your platform.
After all, communities are created to build relationships. Content moderation will help you enhance your relationships with community members and lead to more meaningful communication.
Positive Brand Reputation
Your brand image depends on how your users perceive it. By constantly seeing negative and inappropriate content on your platform, they will avoid it. This will lead to a dead community full of inappropriate content that increases day by day. You definitely don’t want it.
All the hard work you’ve put into it will be in vain if you lose control over your platform and what’s shared on it. Content moderation will help you stay in control and monitor what your users see.
As you can see, content moderation has many benefits including the ones mentioned above. By choosing the right tactics, your can protect your community and improve your image.
Challenges of Content Moderation
While content moderation has so many benefits, it also has a number of challenges, especially when it comes to manual moderation. Moderators are humans after all. Here are the possible challenges that you may face in the process:
- Contextual Interpretation: If you don’t have defined guidelines, it will be hard to decide whether specific content is subject to moderation or not. It all depends on the context and your moderator’s subjective opinion.
- Different Types of Content: As we’ve mentioned above, there are different types of content that should undergo moderation: text, image, audio, and video. So, you have to consider all the types and develop an inclusive strategy. Choosing the right tools can help overcome this challenge.
- Increasing Volume of Content: The bigger your community becomes, the more content your moderators have to check. The amount of work will grow to a point when process automation is inevitable.
- New Ways to Share Harmful Content: Everything is evolving, and people find new ways to bypass moderation. You have to constantly monitor the situation and be prepared to prevent any unpleasant situation.
- Mental Health Issues: Sometimes, those who protect your community need protection themselves. Manual content moderation comes at a price which is often the psychological well-being of the moderators.
All these challenges emphasize the need for more efficient and intelligent technical solutions instead of manual moderation.
AI for Content Moderation
AI-based technologies have taken over manual tasks and automated many processes that were done by people. Content moderation is no exception.
With automated content moderation, it became possible to check and identify inappropriate content at scale. It drastically reduced the content detection time and other resources spent on manual moderation. Even though the whole process is automated, you still need content moderators to supervise the whole process and make sure that everything runs smoothly.
In recent years, AI-powered technologies have become more accessible to companies that don’t have the resources to keep an AI team and develop their models. Now, all you need to do is find the right API and integrate it.
For content moderation, you can use NSFW image detection API that will keep your platform safe from explicit images and adult content. This AI-powered content detection system checks images generated by users on your platform and automatically identifies any suspicious content with maximum accuracy and speed. It can also blur or block offensive content to keep your website and content safe for your audience, ensuring compliance with regulations.
Here are some use cases:
With the rise of forums featuring user-generated content, detecting inappropriate content has become a serious problem. Using an NSFW detection API can help you automatically identify and block any unwanted or offensive content on your forum. This will prevent users from spamming the forum channels.
AI for Comment Moderation
Millions of comments are generated every day on different platforms. Some of those comments may be abusive. With an NSFW API, you can instantly identify any potentially offensive messages and keep the comment section safe.
Messaging apps are a fast and versatile way to communicate with friends and family, as well as for business communication. However, it’s not always safe for users. Some of the potential risks with messaging apps include sharing adult content, bullying, sexting, etc. With adult content detection technology, you can effectively detect and block NSFW content. This will prevent users from accessing inappropriate content and ensure secure communication.
AI for Video Game Streaming Platforms
Live game streaming platforms host a huge amount of user-generated content. However, this content may not always be safe and requires careful moderation. With an NSFW detection tool, you can instantly identify and block any adult content during live video game streaming.
One of the most serious challenges that dating apps face is adult content. On platforms without identity verification, users are likely to encounter explicit, offensive, and inappropriate content. With NSFW detection AI technology, you can keep your dating site content clean and abuse-free.
These are some of the most common use cases of AI-based technologies in content moderation. It’s up to you to decide what technologies to choose. But, if you’re dealing with a huge amount of user-generated content, it’s recommended to use advanced technologies to keep your community safe.
To Sum Up
The rapid growth of user-generated content has made it difficult to control the quality of content that is publicly shared. This leads to the spread of inappropriate content that negatively affects the lives of people in the digital space.
Content moderation is an important process that fights against harmful content to create a healthy environment for users. As a community owner, you are responsible for the safety of your community members. One of the most effective ways to do it is automated moderation with AI-powered technologies.
Consider all the benefits and challenges of different content moderation techniques and find the best option to filter harmful content and block it to protect both your community and your brand reputation.