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The future of many apps is not only based upon Apple's policies, Google, or other tech giants. It is also based upon user experience.Do you want to make 2021 a safe environment for users?Avoid the most common mistakes in content moderation to prevent, identify and filter objectionable content to protect users' health and safety.

1. Crowdsourcing Moderation

Content moderation has become a necessity in today's digital age. Human moderators are increasingly responsible for scanning online for inappropriate content and ensuring safe communities.

Crowdsourcing moderation is a method of sourcing labor through large groups of moderators online. These individuals often offer very low prices, which can make this option attractive.

Crowdsourced moderators can be anonymous. This makes it difficult to hold them accountable to your company. It also leads to unmotivated moderators that fail to give thorough reviews. A crowdsourced laborer can apply their personal values and perspectives to moderation projects without formal accountability.

Even though crowdsourced moderators take their time reading content before accepting or rejecting them, it doesn't mean that they are able to understand your brand and moderation criteria.

Avoid the risk of your audience being exposed to offensive content by not relying on crowdsourced labourers for moderation. For brands looking for a cost-friendly solution without the risks of crowdsourcing, it will be the best option. This combination of trained professionals and AI allows you to moderate content in real time.

2. Failure to train Moderators

A hybrid moderation approach allows content to be escalated to moderators if AI fails to meet the requirements. Moderators can make more complex decisions about content's tone, context, and style. We see the most common moderation errors as a failure to properly train moderators to understand the complexities of your brand’s content guidelines and to provide them with clear rules.

It is not easy to train moderators because each rule requires an in-depth understanding of all possible edge cases. Rules that are easily interpreted, such as asking content moderators to flag images for "irresponsible alcohol" or "doing anything dangerous", should be avoided.

For example, take "irresponsible alcohol." Your definition of wine will differ from that of a brand selling games to children if you are selling wine to adults. You can reduce uncertainty by clearly defining the rules and criteria for your human moderators.

You must define your brand's standards to ensure a successful content moderation team and strategy. Moderation should not be left up for interpretation. Start by defining who and what your audience values.

Moderators who are trained to deal with violations falling into the grey areas can make final photo moderation decisions that conform to your brand standards. This will create safer communities. Look for moderators who are highly skilled and continuously assessed for speed and accuracy.

3. Underestimating the importance of Community Guidelines

Your community guidelines are the norm for online behavior. Your members won't be able to know what content is acceptable or inappropriate without community guidelines.

Moderators will be required to spend time deliberating every time a post is removed from the online community. Moderators will remove posts for no apparent reason. This can lead to frustration on the part of users.

You should create new community guidelines if you don't have them in place or if they are too vague and outdated. Guidelines that link back to your organization's mission include what you do and how you do it, who you serve, and what unique value your organization offers to consumers and employees.

After your company has established a foundation, it is time to establish guidelines for the community.

Your guidelines will be open to interpretation if you just rattle off a list of rules.

It is better to give specific examples and be clear from the start. You can give examples, such as guns and explosives, of what your online community does not tolerate.

You can also spell out the exact actions that will be taken to address violations of your guideline and make sure you enforce them by taking down any content that is in violation. If members suspect that content is in violation of the guidelines, you can provide them with flags and other tools to help them report it.

You don't have to rely on your online community for reporting other people who are suspected or actually violating community standards. Although most people will report others who violate a standard, it is possible for them to report someone with a different perspective.

Remember that content moderation goes beyond following community guidelines and deleting content frequently based on flagged or reported posts. Community guidelines are only one component of a content moderation strategy. It also requires a combination of human moderation and technology.

4. All Content Moderation Should Be Transferred to Technology

It may be tempting to give up all content moderation tasks and turn your attention to technology and algorithms. It's clear that AI is responsible in large part for the task of detecting and removing millions posts that contain drugs, hate speech or weapons. Too often, technology replaces human moderators and creates new problems.

AI has difficulty understanding context. This can lead to rejections of harmless content and, more worryingly, the failure to identify harmful submissions. AI is unable to distinguish nuance in speech and images like humans, so AI that has been trained on millions of examples might still make mistakes that humans won't.

Relying on AI alone for content moderation could lead to errors in moderation decisions, such as false positives, which occur when the system determines that a piece is problematic while it is not.

False negatives can also occur when the moderation system accepts content it determines not to be problematic.

Because automation is able to detect nudity more accurately than it can recognize hate speech's complexities, moderation gives the impression that it places more emphasis on controlling someone's body than speech that may be offensive. Your company might accidentally offend users that you were trying to protect.

Technology can be a hindrance to content moderation. Don't underestimate the value of human moderators, who can discern gray areas. Instead, you can use AI to remove offensive content like hate symbols and pornography. For more specific brand-specific criteria, a human team can review the content.

Tech failure: In its attempts to ban violent groups, Facebook earlier this year removed a harmless Revolutionary War Reenactment Page.

5. Not Prioritising Moderators' Mental Health

When moderating user generated content (UGC), it's obvious that AI alone is not sufficient. Human teams are able to make complex decisions and they should be involved in content moderation.

However, it would be a mistake to bring in human moderators without taking steps to ensure their mental health and a safe working environment. Live moderators are responsible for reviewing content throughout the day to ensure it is safe and in line with your brand's standards.

Moderators might be exposed to disturbing or even harmful content in the course of protecting the public and your company's image.

Moderation teams are there to protect your brand's reputation and other tasks. You must support them and remind them of their importance. You could also be accused of disregarding their working conditions as many brands have done in the past. This could lead to a negative reputation for your company as someone who isn't concerned about the mental well-being of its workforce.

Mental health programming is essential to protect live moderators. Partner with a professional moderation agency to ensure that moderation is done in-house and crowdsource.

Professional moderation agencies provide a complete mental health program for anyone moderating content on your platform. They also rotate moderators to less serious projects regularly, giving them a break in seeing the upsetting content every day.

WebPurify recommends asking potential content moderation partners these questions to ensure that they are qualified.

The Takeaway

It is a mistake to only invest in one moderation tool. You can make sure that both the human and digital sides of the screen are safe.

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