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Moderation Amid the Pandemic: How Has Social Media Giants Handled User Content Check

Social media platforms have become a staple in our lives. It has provided a great way to stay connected with the world, especially during the coronavirus era wherein social distancing is crucial for everybody’s safety. That is also why several companies have taken advantage of social media to boost their brand awareness and grow their revenue.

While social media plays a vital role in building connections and providing a creative outlet for different individuals and businesses, it poses certain risks too. Some of these possible risks include:

  • Exposure to inappropriate content, like mean, aggressive, racism, violence, or sexual comments or images
  • Breach of confidentiality regarding personal information such as phone numbers, date of birth, or location
  • Cyberbullying
  • The spread of fake news and misinformation

These potential dangers lurking online leave you with the question: How can you avoid these risks on your platforms? 

Well, that is where social media moderation services enter the picture.

In this article, we will elaborate on the role of social media moderation services and how moderators can cope with the surge in user-generated content especially during the pandemic.

What is a Social Media Moderation Service?

Social media moderation services handle and monitor the activities on your social media platforms. It filters all inappropriate content that might harm your platforms and prevents it firsthand from being uploaded and shared across multiple users.

It is necessary to point out that amid the ongoing health crisis, some companies had to send their staff home and adapt to a remote work setup. Social media moderators are among these workers, and it has not been an easy adjustment on their part.

Some might argue that businesses should start relying on AI-powered moderation more, but that is not always the ideal solution. AI takes time to learn new information and broaden its capacity to distinguish between exploitative user posts from harmless content. In other words, it takes both the capacities of human moderators and automated content checking filters to boost user trust and brand protection online.

Major companies had to accept that the capacity to moderate human content would be considerably reduced. There needs to be a balance between humans and AI, otherwise it could leave more mistakes in moderation.

Social Media Content Moderation—During the Pandemic

Content moderation has become one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses with a social media presence. The more people quarantined within their homes also meant more users logging into their social networking accounts and a drastic increase in the volume of texts, images, videos, pages, and groups that must be monitored and reviewed.

The sheer number of daily posts and activities urged the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the online world. AI-assisted content filtering and reviewing tools have played a vital role in social media content moderation. You can imagine how AI adapts moderation to your brand, and the services can cover text moderation, scheduled post engagement, responses, video and photo moderation, content moderation, and more.

Below are the top social media platforms that provide examples of how they handled user-generated content, along with their weak areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the world’s leading social networking sites, with over a billion users globally. How are they handling user-generated content at this time? When the pandemic hit the world, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they will reduce their remote workforce and rely more on artificial intelligence (AI) or automated systems to detect and remove users violating their content guidelines and disable these accounts. 

Pros:

The good thing about AI is that it can examine text-based content such as product reviews, newscasts, and social media posts on multiple channels in real-time. AI can detect inappropriate content much quicker than a human moderator and ensure that it does not go unnoticed.

Cons:

Users expect more mistakes, and reviews will take longer than normal because of the absence of human moderators.

Twitter

Twitter has also expressed their plan to broaden the definition of harmful content in their community guidelines to address more issues and discrepancies coupled with the use of their platform. They are set to enhance the use of machine learning and automation to eliminate potentially abusive and manipulative content. The update is a way to augment the shortcomings in discerning contexts in different user posts which could often result in mistakes when regulating UGC. 

Pros:

Just the same, artificial intelligence (AI) can remove abusive and manipulated content. Through automated enforcement of community guidelines, it can suspend any accounts that have harmful content instantly.

Cons:

Even though platform systems are consistent, AI can, at times, lack the context that humans bring, and this may result in making mistakes. That is why Twitter acknowledges that artificial intelligence should not be viewed as a permanent replacement for human moderators.

TikTok

With millions of content downloaded on TikTok every week, it’s a big job that demands the involvement of a bigger team of moderators. One of their biggest challenges since 2020 is the need for their staff to work from home. Transitioning to a remote-based work setup was not possible for all moderators for various reasons, and that includes basic logistical issues, privacy issues with setting up review feeds out of controlled environments, and concerns about contractors reviewing disturbing content.

Pros:

With the help of AI,Tiktok gained the capacity to remove millions of content videos that violated community guidelines. It became easier to remove inappropriate content and accounts from the platform.

Cons:

Moderation technology may be more crucial at present, but it does not always assure full prevention of all instances of inappropriate user activity. Meanwhile, combining AI with a robust human moderation team ensures a safe, welcoming and positive community environment for users.

YouTube

Temporarily , YouTube will begin relying on technology more heavily in their effort to balance the workload given to their in-house video content reviewers. This means that their automated systems will commence removing videos and comments without the intervention of human analysis. 

Pros:

It will potentially boost the rate at which harmful and inappropriate video posts are removed from the platform. Younger viewers and users will also experience stronger protection against disturbing videos and explicit remarks from other users.

Cons:

Users and creators may see an increase in video deletions, including content that are not in violation of any guidelines. Creators must be keener with their use of language, images, and music to keep their videos from being deleted and their accounts from being suspended. For instance, the use of swear words or adding copyrighted content without permission in their videos could get them in big trouble. This also calls for a more stringent and consistently updated library for YouTube’s algorithms and AI tools.

Conclusion

Content moderation in this pandemic is an overstated version of past content checking practices. The vast numbers of people locked inside their homes who spend more time online and are hungry for fresh information is a given. For that reason, several users are using the current situation and taking advantage of social media platforms to spread inappropriate content that can damage your brand reputation.

It is no longer a secret that social media moderators help you to detect, address and mitigate potential problems before they affect your brand. Additionally, social media moderators speed up the time it takes to identify brand abuse, emerging threats, and hostility among users and community members. They can handle enormous amounts of user-generated content across many social media platforms. Similarly, the ongoing crisis has shed light on more resourceful alternatives in the form of technology. 

As an entrepreneur or a business owner, you need to implement the best solutions to uphold the safety of both your credibility and your audience. Blending the best of human touch and artificial intelligence (AI) tools is your best choice if you want to generate favorable results.

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