Back to Basic: What is Content Moderation Outsourcing?

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UPDATED May 31, 2024
Written By John Calongcagon

Back to Basic: What is Content Moderation Outsourcing?

If you own a business or manage a company, you understand the challenges of handling vast amounts of user-generated content (UGC). Imagine your company website or social media platform flooded with millions of posts, comments, and images daily. Harmful and inappropriate content can spread if your business lacks proper oversight, damaging your reputation and eroding user trust. In this scenario, content moderation outsourcing emerges as a reliable solution.

Content moderation outsourcing involves hiring external service providers to review and filter content according to predetermined guidelines. These guidelines and standards may differ depending on your industry.

For example, you’re working in a global e-commerce business. Your content moderation guidelines may revolve around ensuring product reviews and customer feedback remain constructive and spam-free. Similarly, you will rely on outsourced moderators to monitor live chat interactions during broadcasts if you are in the streaming industry.

In this blog, you will learn more about the benefits content moderation outsourcing brings to your business. Moreover, you will discover the key considerations you should take when outsourcing content moderation and how to implement an effective moderation strategy for your business.

Understanding Content Moderation

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Before diving deeper into content moderation outsourcing, you must first understand the basics of content moderation.

Primarily, content moderation aims to monitor and filter UGC to maintain a safe and respectful online environment. Content moderators ensure content posted online adheres to specific guidelines, community standards, and legal requirements. 

The content moderation process often involves filtering inappropriate, harmful, or illegal content. These online materials are often regarded as UGC or content produced and posted by users. UGC encompasses various types of content, such as:

  • Text

Textual content includes posts, comments, reviews, and messages. Content moderators monitor textual content to filter hate speech, offensive language, harassment, spam, and misinformation. Unmoderated posts can lead to a toxic environment, legal issues, and a loss of user trust and engagement.

  • Images

Harmful image content includes photos, graphics, and advertisements that contain explicit content, violence, and are copyrighted material. Moreover, moderators ensure that digital advertisements do not contain misleading information and inappropriate content. Without image moderation, inappropriate images and ads may lead to user distress, legal action, mistrust, and loss of advertiser support.

  • Videos

Video content can be pre-recorded videos or live streams. Video moderation services screen harmful content, explicit material, and copyright violations. It also prevents the broadcast of illegal content during live streams. The spread of harmful videos can lead to user harm, negative publicity, and legal challenges.

Challenges of In-House Content Moderation

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While businesses can develop an internal content moderation team, it may be difficult for small startups with limited resources and large enterprises with a vast user base. Here are some of the common obstacles faced by in-house content moderation:

  • Volume

The sheer volume of content generated daily can overwhelm in-house content moderation teams. Handling such an immense volume with a limited number of moderators can lead to significant delays in addressing inappropriate content, resulting in lower user trust and engagement.

  • Scalability

Business growth translates to more UGC. Scaling an in-house moderation team to match this growth can be costly. Hiring and training new moderators require time and resources. Moreover, businesses should invest heavily in new infrastructure to support a larger content moderation team. Failure to adequately scale moderation efforts can result in coverage gaps where inappropriate content may slip through.

  • 24/7 Coverage

Providing round-the-clock moderation is crucial for online businesses operating across multiple time zones. Achieving 24/7 coverage with an in-house team requires significant resources and logistical coordination. Organizations must hire additional staff to cover night shifts, weekends, and holidays. Not having 24/7 coverage might allow harmful or inappropriate content to remain visible for extended periods.

  • Expertise

Effective content moderation requires a deep understanding of diverse cultural norms, languages, and legal requirements. An in-house team may lack the necessary expertise to handle content from a global user base.

Moderators should also be well-versed in the specific guidelines of different regions and cultural nuances of various social groups. Inadequate knowledge can lead to inconsistent moderation, where content acceptable in one culture may be inappropriately flagged or ignored in another.

Benefits of Outsourcing Content Moderation

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Here are some benefits of content moderation outsourcing:

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Outsourcing content moderator services is more economical than maintaining an in-house team. It allows businesses to pay for services as needed, offering a more flexible payment model.

Moreover, content moderation companies often operate in regions with lower labor costs, offering competitive pricing without compromising quality.

  • Access to Expertise

Content moderation providers employ professional moderators who are well-versed in various cultural norms, languages, and legal requirements. They are properly trained to handle diverse and complex content issues effectively.

Outsourcing companies continuously update their moderation strategies and training programs to stay current with the evolving content standards and regulations.

  • Scalability

Content moderation solutions allow businesses to scale their efforts according to their needs. Outsourcing providers can quickly adjust their staffing levels to match these changes. This scalability is crucial during peak times and seasonal fluctuations when the content volume can surge unexpectedly.

  • Focus on Core Activities

Outsourcing content moderation frees up resources. Delegating the time-consuming tasks of content moderation to experts allows internal teams to focus on innovation, product development, customer service, and other critical areas. This resource allocation can lead to improved overall business performance and growth.

Key Consideration When Outsourcing Content Moderation

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Outsourcing moderation services is not as simple as hiring content moderation outsourcing companies. Businesses need to consider various factors if they want to successfully outsource content moderation, including:

  • Track Record

Look for vendors with a proven track record and extensive experience in content moderation. Check client testimonials and case studies to gauge their reliability.

  • Specialization

Ensure the content moderation service provider specializes in the type of content your platform deals with, whether it's text, images, videos, or user interactions. You must also choose a provider with moderators proficient in your user base's languages and cultures to ensure accurate and context-sensitive moderation.

  • Technology

Evaluate the service provider's technological capabilities. Check the use of AI and machine learning for automated moderation. Confirm that the company can scale its services to match your growing needs and handle peak content volumes effectively.

  • Quality Control

Ensuring quality content moderation is crucial when looking for a potential long-term partner. Here are factors you should consider to ensure top-notch content moderation:

  • Guidelines

Develop comprehensive and detailed guidelines outlining what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable content. These guidelines should be shared with the moderation provider to ensure consistency.

  • Training

Ensure your outsourcing partner provides rigorous and ongoing training for their moderators. This training should focus on your guidelines and standards.

  • Performance Metrics

Define performance metrics such as accuracy rates, response times, and user satisfaction scores. Regularly review these metrics to assess the provider's performance.

  • Compliance

Conduct periodic audits of the moderation process and results to ensure compliance with your guidelines. Provide feedback to your content moderation outsourcing partner to address any issues and improve quality.

  • Data Security and Privacy

A reliable outsourcing partner has robust security measures to protect sensitive information. To effectively safeguard your client's confidential data, you should choose a content moderation provider with the following:

  • Robust data protection policies
  • Secure technology infrastructure
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Regular security audits

Implementing an Effective Content Moderation Strategy

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To attain an effective content moderation strategy, businesses should consider the following:

  • Setting Clear Guidelines

Content moderation guidelines should provide specific examples of inappropriate content to eliminate ambiguity. Detailed policies can help moderators make consistent decisions and reduce the risk of subjective judgments. 

Moreover, these guidelines serve as a reference point for resolving disputes and appeals. Clear guidelines should communicate to users their roles in maintaining a safe and respectful online community. 

Regularly updating community guidelines to reflect changes in community standards, legal requirements, and societal norms demonstrates a business' commitment to keeping up with the times.

  • Training and Development

Continuous training and development for moderators can help maintain high standards. Training programs should cover the latest legal regulations, cultural sensitivities, and platform-specific guidelines.

Moreover, companies should train their moderators to recognize new types of harmful content and emerging trends. Regular workshops, refresher courses, and scenario-based training can enhance moderators' skills and judgment. 

  • Utilizing Technology

AI and automation enhance the efficiency and accuracy of content moderation. They can process large volumes of content and identify potentially harmful material quicker than human moderators.

Machine learning algorithms can learn to recognize patterns of inappropriate content. Automating content moderation enables human moderators to focus on more complex cases requiring nuanced judgment. However, it's essential to continuously monitor and refine these technologies to address biases and errors.

Future Trends in Content Moderation

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Content moderation services will continue to evolve with advancements in technology and changing user behavior. AI and machine learning algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, enabling more accurate harmful content detection. Moreover, natural language processing (NLP) advancements enhance AI's ability to understand context and nuance in text-based content.

The combination of human and AI moderation will become the norm in the future. While AI handles high volumes of content, human moderators make nuanced decisions in complex or ambiguous cases. This hybrid approach ensures a more comprehensive content moderation. 

The future of content moderation is not without challenges. A significant hurdle in effective content moderation is keeping up with the rapid pace of content creation. Additionally, new breeds of harmful content, such as deepfakes and coordinated misinformation campaigns, require more compelling moderation strategies. 

Another significant issue is balancing the need for effective moderation with free speech and user privacy. Moderators need to ensure that their decisions do not inadvertently suppress legitimate expression while removing harmful content. 

Unlocking the Potential of Content Moderation Outsourcing with the Right Partner

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Effective content moderation is crucial for maintaining a safe and respectful online environment. Companies may develop an internal team for their content moderation. However, managing an in-house team presents numerous challenges.

Content moderation outsourcing offers a strategic solution for these challenges. However, outsourcing is not as simple as simply hiring a contractor. It involves considering various factors such as selecting the right outsourcing partner, establishing clear guidelines, continuous training, and using advanced technologies.

Businesses looking to enhance their content moderation efforts should partner with a reliable content moderation company like Chekkee.

Chekkee offers comprehensive solutions tailored to your content moderation needs. Our team of skilled moderators ensure accuracy and sensitive content management. We also use advanced AI and automation technologies to efficiently handle large volumes of content while maintaining high standards of quality and consistency.

By choosing Chekkee, you gain a partner committed to protecting your brand reputation and providing a safe online environment for your users. Contact us today!

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