Online Reputation and Content Moderation

What we see when we scroll down the our feeds on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc. we get immersed in an endless stream of photos, videos, likes, comments and other updates from our friends, family and acquaintances. All those posts about them vacationing or enjoying a nice lunch somewhere exotic in essence is user generated content - generated by real people, at real places enjoying whatever it is they are posting about. This is content created by you as a user or your friends and family, in the form of posts, comments, photos, videos, reviews etc. We know for a fact that today Facebook itself has over a billion users on its platform – and there are stats showing how many likes, posts, comments, photos, videos etc., it generates in a day - which of course are in millions and billions again. So you can imagine the vastness of this user-generated content that is out there on the big wide world of web or Internet as a whole.

Ok, so you may be wondering where we are going with this. Well, for most part this user generated content works well for users and companies, given we as human beings make decisions, form opinions, and even allow ourselves to be influenced by the things that evoke emotions inside us. However, it is also true that all this user generated content is not always positive. There is little wonder that the vastness of Internet also grants anonymity to people which gives them a choice to behave in ways they would want – so on one side of the spectrum there are people who are sincere, constructive, uplifting etc. and on the other side of spectrum are people who troll, are disgusting or are even dangerous. So what happens, when the same content becomes hateful, abusive or inappropriate?

As a user, as an individual, mostly you can moderate the content you are exposed to. But in case of brands and companies it is important to protect online reputation when users are reviewing, talking and sharing about you openly. Whether it’s social networks, blogs, websites, etc., they need somebody to monitor and quickly remove any inappropriate content to provide a clean and safe platform for its users to enjoy their services. Simply put – companies and brands need to have a plan and strategy in place to monitor and moderate this user generated content 24/7.

Positive user generated content boosts credibility and increases trusts, so it is paramount that whether you are a company, brand or an online store to be vigilant about your content moderation. For instance, let’s take an example of user generated reviews: most of your customers or community members engage with positive and credible reviews about your services or products, which in return promote trust and social proof along with creating excitement amongst other users or consumers engaging with products and services that you offer. But then there are countless haters and spammers out there who spend their time actively trying to defame your company by posting negative reviews, inappropriate photos, videos and in some cases illegal content disparaging your products and services, which you put in your heart and soul to build. Believe us, when we say this: at times it takes only one person to tarnish your company’s reputation just when you think your hard work which went into building it was about to pay off. And hence, content moderation is the only solution to tackle this problem effectively.

In fact, content moderators are a necessity in today’s day and age. Yes, of course, we have technology to help us in content moderation, but because of the nature of this content, what we really need are content moderation specialists who are experts at detecting new patterns of scammers, fake profiles, abusive content, illegal products etc. Yes technology equips us with automation, which makes it easy to scan through content for basic quality needs, but to handle the complexity and to check for appropriateness of most types of content - a human touch is required! If you are running a platform, the human input helps with machine learning and improved automation to detect bad content.

It’s true that user generated content if positive can be a pot of gold for marketers, brands and companies alike; but it’s not exactly a secret too that unmoderated content can run the risk of significant brand attacks and loss of revenue for your company or organization. So establish your content guideline, tune in to technology and combine it with a great team of moderators to kick in your best and most effective content moderation strategy.

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