How Do Online Moderators Shape Digital Platforms?

UPDATED May 24, 2024
Written By Laniel Arive

Navigating the World of Online Moderators

From hate speech and fake profiles to misinformation and cybersecurity threats, the digital world has inevitably become a breeding ground for malicious activities.

While the digital world is vital in bridging people despite physical distances, it has also become an avenue for fraudulent activities and malicious intent. From hate speech and fake profiles to misinformation and cybersecurity threats, online platforms grapple with upholding user safety and platform integrity.

Thankfully, online moderators exist. But who are they really, and what does an online moderator do?

Responsibilities of Online Moderators

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Online moderators are the unsung heroes of the internet. They are the people behind the thick tapestry of digital platforms such as social media, online shops, gaming sites, and dating apps, among others.

But why are online moderators crucial in today’s digital realm?

Online moderators are the eyes that watch over the digital realm, guaranteeing a safe and healthy interaction among users. To achieve this feat, however, they employ content moderation solutions and enforce community guidelines.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key responsibilities of online moderators:

  • Content Review and Moderation

The primary task of online moderators was reviewing and managing user-generated content (UGC). They sift through vast amounts of texts, digital images, videos, and other forms of media to ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards.

Online moderators also flag harmful content, such as misinformation, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, and disturbing visual content depicting nudity and violence, among others. Depending on the gravity of the violation, they can either ask the user to edit the content, take down the post, or suspend and ban the account that uploads such content.

  • Enforcing Community Guidelines and Policies

Online moderation extends beyond just managing content. Online moderators also enforce platform guidelines and policies to ensure a positive user experience. But what exactly are these platform or online community guidelines? 

Community guidelines reflect the platform’s values and vision. They typically encompass what kind of content or behavior is accepted and prohibited in the digital space. Although these often vary depending on the target audience of an online platform, the following are universally prohibited:

  • Bullying or harassment
  • Fraud and online scams
  • Pornography
  • Misinformation
  • Violence
  • Hate Speech
  • Identity theft
  • Monitoring Online Trends and Behavior

Digital interaction is nonstop. Whether to hop in trends or simply express themselves, online posts flood the online streams every second.

In 2024, 5.17 billion online users reside in social media alone. This number doesn’t make it difficult to gauge how many Facebook comments, Instagram reels, or TikTok videos pile up in digital spaces every second.

Staying abreast with these digital trends is yet another responsibility of online moderators. More so, it’s imperative to monitor the evolving user behavior to new slang and other linguistic nuances to guarantee accurate moderation.

Shaping User Experience with Online Moderation

men and woman using computer

Since content moderator services tend to keep online spaces safe and clean, they are imperative for shaping positive user experiences.

Here’s how content moderation pivots healthy online interaction:

  • Upholding User Safety

The main objective of content moderation solutions is to flag and remove potentially harmful content based on predefined platform policies. By doing so, it safeguards internet safety and user wellbeing.

For instance, online chat moderators play a crucial role in upholding user safety on messaging platforms or social networking sites. They sift through online texts to protect users from harmful or offensive content, such as fake news, discrimination, and hate speech, which tarnish the vibrance of users’ online experiences.

  • Ensuring a Healthy Online Environment

As content moderation services lean toward user safety, platforms are one step closer to achieving the feat of maintaining a healthy digital environment. When digital spaces are free from harmful texts and disturbing visual content, users can have an exceptional experience.

In e-commerce, customer experience and satisfaction rely on the online brand’s safety, cleanliness, and security.

  • Enhancing User Engagement and Satisfaction

Besides digital safety, removing unwanted content from online spaces also helps boost user engagement and satisfaction.

For instance, when customers feel safe and secure online, they are more likely to engage with the brand and foster loyalty. More so, content moderation solutions are also a key to a respectful and safe platform.

Furthermore, machine learning algorithms employed in automated moderation also allow platforms to personalize user experience, increasing their enjoyment and satisfaction.

Tools and Techniques Used by Moderators

men and ai

Now that we’ve explored the merits of online moderation in digital communities, you must be asking how online moderators carry out this task.

From manual review to automated procedures, here are a few approaches and techniques how to employ content moderation:

  • Manual Moderation

Before the advent of cutting-edge technologies, online content moderation was performed manually. Manual or human moderation involves manually reviewing content to determine whether it complies with platform policies or violates them.

In this approach, content moderation solely relies on the moderator’s qualitative judgment. While it ensures understanding of nuanced content, this approach grapples with accommodating the growing number of online content and consistently enforcing community guidelines.

  • Automated Moderation

Automated moderation utilizes the magic of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and tools. Unlike manual moderation, this approach revolutionizes online moderation by automatically detecting and removing potentially harmful or inappropriate content.

Here are two main components of AI-powered content moderation:

  1. Machine Learning

Machine learning algorithms are the virtual brains of computer systems. Their capacity to mimic human intelligence allows systems to “learn” and recognize content patterns from training datasets. This will enable them to flag potentially harmful content when they encounter it.

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

On the other hand, NLP techniques enable moderation systems to comprehend the intricacies of human language. Although understanding nuances remains a question to this day, NLP screens harmful texts in all types of content, whether in common threads, public forums, or other avenues of digital discussion.

  • Hybrid Moderation

While automated moderation bridges the gap between human limitations and the sheer volume of UGC online, it remains only complementary to human capabilities. Meaning, it cannot stand alone because it faces its own moderation challenges, such as accuracy, consistency, and ethical complexities.

To avoid these, a content moderation company often combines together the power of manual and AI moderation. Through a hybrid content moderation service, online platforms can efficiently and accurately moderate content at scale and in real-time.

Challenges Faced by Online Moderators

woman using computer

While hybrid moderation emerged as the ideal solution to adopt to moderate the current digital landscape, it’s still essential to look back at the recurring digital challenges, such as the following:

  • Balancing Free Speech and Platform Policies

The challenge of online content moderation stems from the ethical dilemma of balancing the user’s freedom of speech and performing the platform’s social responsibility. Because content moderation involves taking down posts that harm or deceive others, too much of it can infringe on the user’s right to express.

In short, online moderators must traverse the thin line between free speech and user safety, which are crucial in shaping positive online experiences.

  • Algorithmic Biases and Complexity of Content

Online content moderation aims to be as accurate as possible. However, regardless of whether a company employs manual or automated moderation, threats of inaccuracy always prevail.

On the one hand, online moderators must address the risks of automated moderation. Since computer systems rely on data training, they can be vulnerable to algorithmic biases. To avoid this, online moderators must provide extensive and representative datasets.

On the other hand, machine learning algorithms grapple with the complexities of nuanced content. Thus, online moderators must monitor the performance of AI moderation systems and perform qualitative judgment to ensure the accuracy of moderation outcomes.

  • Psychological Impact of Handling Sensitive Content

Online moderators are at the frontline of safeguarding digital safety. Thus, they are the absorbers of distressing content. Prolonged exposure to harmful online materials can be emotionally taxing, resulting in stress, anxiety, and other psychological conditions.

To alleviate this, AI systems must be put in place to reduce the moderator’s burden of managing sensitive content.

Future Trends in Online Moderation

woman and ai

From the conventional approach of manual moderation to enabling automatic content moderation with enhanced speed and security, it’s undeniable that content moderation has taken giant leaps of development. However, the present rate of robust technological advancement is reassuring that the moderation landscape has yet to evolve.

With potential advances in AI that aim to understand content’s context and nuances, such as context-aware filtering technology, automated moderation may finally debunk the question of its ethics and accuracy.

Meanwhile, as AI progresses to dominate the content moderation process, online moderators remain a key player in securing the safe and bright future of the digital community.

Online Moderators: The Guardians of the Digital World

men using computer

There’s no question about the importance of online moderation in today’s increasingly digital world. However, as AI technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, began to take over the moderation processes, doubts have since been cast about the duty of human moderators.

Are they still relevant? Do we still need online moderators?

The answer is a resounding yes. Online moderators are crucial in shaping the digital landscape. They keep platforms safe and regulate online interactions to guarantee a positive experience for all users. In short, the key to effective moderation is to leverage AI capabilities while employing highly trained online moderators.

To ensure you reap the benefits of this delicate formula, partnering with a reliable content moderation outsourcing company is vital. This is where Chekkee comes into play.

Chekkee offers content moderation solutions that harness the power of both AI and human moderation. We offer innovative services provided by skilled online moderators adept at handling evolving types of content and shaping satisfactory user experience. In addition to this, we also integrate AI solutions to ensure efficiency, consistency, speed, and scalability.

Remember, two is better than one. Contact us today!

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