What really happens during web content moderation?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Content moderation is one of the most commonly offered outsourcing services for a reason. Its goal is to provide users with a positive online customer experience by keeping away harmful and offensive content from a website. For brands, this process helps them maintain a good online reputation while they're able to build personal relations with their target customers.

As one of the practices under social media management, content moderation means scanning and reviewing user-generated content (UGC). The person who does the moderating must watch out for racism, nudity, sexism, offensive language, and other inappropriate remarks that may harm other customers. This allows customers to make the most of their online experience, especially concerning your brand.

Keeping inappropriate web content away from your website, social media page, or online forum will help foster customer trust. Although UGC, which refers to any form of material submitted by users, amplify the customers' voice, there's a need to draw a line between what content is acceptable and what's not. Brands that crowdsource content for digital marketing have to follow their company policies and the general guidelines of a social platform.

What must be moderated

Generally speaking, everything that is published and may be published on your online platforms must be carefully reviewed. This means that separate teams must be monitoring your individual social media pages, your website, and the online forum you're hosting. Therefore, the rules you need to follow may vary slightly depending on the content policies of each channel. But if you want to ensure consistency, your brand must have a clear set of guidelines that your moderators must abide by for all platforms, at all times.

If you're outsourcing content moderation to an external provider, make sure to relay these guidelines to them. The rules must specifically address different types of web content, including image, video, and text-based moderation.

For image moderation, your staff would need to evaluate whether the submissions agree with the quality standards that you've previously set. They must be appropriate for the audience and must not imply offensive messages. Also, you need to make sure if they contain all the elements you require, such as captions and meta data.

Video moderation, on the other hand, is more complex. Aside from watching footages, the moderator must also listen to the audio to assess their quality. At other times, transcription may also be required. With text-based moderation, you'll be looking for offensive comments, fraudulent reviews, and spam. As part of social media management, all these must be taken down so you can maintain a good online reputation and ensure that your online communities are safe for all your customers.

Do you need a content moderation team?

Because public relation crises can quickly form through digital platforms, you must be careful in taking your marketing and customer service online. You need a content moderation team in the following instances:

1.   your company's website accepts content from users;
2.   you have a social media page; or
3.   you're hosting an online forum.

Also, consider the industry you're in and the social issues that are relevant to you. For example, if you're using materials sourced from animals, some people might disagree with your practices, and you need to be prepared for such instances. There may be cases of defamation and cyberbullying, and these can be properly handled if you have a content moderation team.

If you need to build a team of moderators immediately, there are several providers of outsourcing services that you can partner with. Together with your provider, you can build a solid, foolproof strategy to maintain a good online reputation while giving your customers the kind of online experience they deserve.