A Simple Guide to Social Media Moderation 
With all the contents spreading in today’s social media community — whether it’s in the form of image, video, text, or music — one factor that must be taken as a priority is “Awareness.”
Are people aware of the effects and influences given by these contents? Are they safe from the potential harm these contents may bring? Or is everyone just letting these contents damage what is to be protected from the virtually toxic world?
The answer to that question will be discussed in this article.
What are the common problems encountered in social media?
The evolution of social media has surprisingly grown wider. With all the different contents used and posted for entertainment, news & information, or businesses, the spread of information across social media networks greatly affects and contributes to the overall activities done in the online community.
The real problem arises when users of different social media platforms make use of unwanted, unprotected, and dangerous content that may influence several audiences.
To provide a better outlook on the impact of user-generated content, listed below are the most popular social media platforms used today, along with the most pressing issues that each is being faced with:
1. Facebook — One of the most popular social media sites is Facebook. According to statistics, Facebook has already reached 2.32 billion monthly active users worldwide as of the fourth quarter of 2018. Imagine the number of uploaded contents on this particular site? It is almost impossible to filter out and monitor the inappropriate UGC posted online.
Here are Facebook’s most encountered problems:
- Political and Religious Rants
- Unfiltered Images that contain violence, pornographic contents, etc.
- Online bullying on forums and comment sections
- Prone to profanity and vulgar words
- Business and advertisement scams
- Spam leading to malware threats
- Hoax Information/ Fake News/ Misleading Articles
- Fake Accounts used to inflict harm to other users
2. YouTube — Another popular website which most online users visit is YouTube. Statistics have also shown that the estimated number of viewers by 2021 will amount to 1.86 billion compared to the 1.47 billion subscribers in 2017. This only proves that the number of viewers affected and influenced by this particular site is more than enough to pollute innocent users from the inappropriate contents being uploaded.
Despite allowing users the freedom to produce their own video content, the abuse of it leads to undesirable content that bring discomfort to fellow users and subscribers.
The list below shows the common problems encountered on YouTube:
- Uncensored Pornographic videos
- Uncensored Violent and Brutal Contents
- Free Speech leading to Controversy
- Viral videos meant for attacking politics and religion
- Negative Influences and Humouring People
- Promotes Discrimination, Stereotypes, and Prejudices
- Promotes Hoax Information and Profanity
3. Twitter — As one of the mainstream micro-blogging platforms, Twitter reached an average of 321 million active users as of the fourth quarter of 2018. This particular site is among the social networks that are most prone to abusive UGC because of the unlimited opinions one can post or upload. This, in turn, leads to massive influences that affect its main audience.
Twitter’s commonly encountered issues include:
- Abusive and discriminative opinions
- Manipulation through bots and human-coordination
- Misinformation campaigns
- Increasingly divisive echo chambers
- Profanity and vulgar words
- Inappropriate images, videos, and memes
4. Instagram — According to Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), Instagram is one of the worst social media platforms for mental health issues. This is because of what it does to most teens and young adults in terms of social awareness and other factors that cause them to be heavily hooked to the social platform.
Among the problems that put Instagram and its users at a disadvantage include:
- Prone to online bullying
- Unfiltered Sexual and Pornographic contents
- Misleading Articles
- Causes high level of Anxiety, depression and loneliness
- Lack of Sleep (Insomnia)
- FOMO “Fear of Missing Out”
- Uncensored Violence
- and other Deviant Contents
5. Other Platforms — Problems encountered in social media are not only limited to the four main sites mentioned. There are other platforms of social media that are being affected by the spread of inappropriate content in the online community.
These problems seen in social media become an alarming issue on a global scale. Without the control and prevention of these threats to our online community, the present and future generation will be suffering in the abusive and virtually toxic side of social media.
What is Social Media Moderation?
This means that each online community should have rules, guidelines, restriction, and policies to be followed to promote the wellness of each user for healthy interactions/activities and prevents undesirable contents posted and uploaded online.
Types of Social Media Moderation
The four basic classifications are:
1. Pre-Moderation — This type prevents UGC threats from spreading undesirable contents any further online. The post or contents submitted by the user will undergo reviews that will determine whether it is safe, appropriate, or harmless to the page’s audience.
Although it may take some time before the posts appear on social media platforms, this particular moderation tool ensures that the contents will not damage the brand’s reputation, and prevents cyber-bullying and radicalization.
2. Post Moderation — The opposite of pre-moderation, it allows users to post or upload their contents online on a real-time basis, and then filter out the inappropriate contents once discovered that it violates the social media community’s rules and policies.
The key element in post moderation is how moderators monitor the contents uploaded online, and combine it with an automated system that will flag down contents not visually appropriate to be seen on social media.
3. Reactive Moderation — Reactive moderation’s best feature is how social media users participate in flagging down the inappropriate contents posted online. This is usually seen in comment sections and forums, where the inappropriate contents, abusive comments, and those that trigger bullying, and arguments are being monitored.By clicking the “report button”, dangerous, inappropriate, and abusive contents are given necessary actions for it not to spread or potentially harm its audience.
4. User-only Moderation — This type of moderation depends on the users to determine whether the UGC is appropriate or not. If a post is reported or seen as inappropriate a number of times, then the content will automatically be hidden. The good thing about user-only moderation is its availability with no added cost, helping brands save more on resources for content moderation.
What is a Social Media Moderator?
A social media moderator is the one handling and managing the activities done in the social media community. Their task is to see and to uphold rules, restrictions, and legalities within the area of management. They are also responsible for monitoring the comments and feedback from social media followers.
Three of the most common and important roles of social media moderator are:
- Social Media Managers — Responsible for moderating and managing the contents uploaded online, they uphold rules, policies, and guides for users.
- Community Managers — Responsible for managing the online community itself, the overall activities within the social media.
- Specialist in different types of Social Media Platforms — Analyzes whether there are inappropriate Posts, Tweets, Photographs, Videos, Memes that are posted on the online community.
Here is a simple guide on how to become an active social media moderator:
1. Create a Definite Set of Rules — There are rules that must be followed on a social media profile, page, and community. This will create the mood and the thinking that there are limitations when posting contents on a brand’s social media page.
As a social media moderator, restrictions must be implied, and wellness & healthy interactions within the community must be promoted. Social media followers must abide by the established rules and guidelines.
Consider including the following when creating an online community guideline:
- Avoid verbal abuse and profanity
- Avoid making arguments and/or posts that can potentially trigger highly sensitive issues
- Promote healthy interactions and participation within the community; otherwise, the involved party will be banned or removed.
- Inappropriate or abusive contents will be automatically removed.
- Anything that promotes hatred or discrimination against a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being will be taken down. Violators will be reprimanded.
2. Consider All Feedback — Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, all of it must be taken into consideration. These feedbacks will be the key to a successful social media strategy. Positive feedback will serve as a brand’s motivating and encouraging factor, while negative feedbacks will serve as guide for improvements.
3. Collect and Save all Posts — Archiving the posts and contents will provide the opportunity to be safe from all legal troubles that could possibly be encountered in the future. This will serve as your legal evidence — visible and documented for you to be protected.
4. Train Moderators to Manage — Community management is not an individual task that one manager can handle. Ideally, hiring and training moderators to maximize defenses against inappropriate and disturbing content effectively ensures the safety of online community members.
5. Creating “Give and Take Relationship” — A business’ relationship with its followers is very important. The way brands interact with their audience is the key to a successful moderation practice. Respect is a must! It is important to know how to listen, balance, consider and be flexible with strategies if necessary.
6. Distributing Tasks for Managers, Administrators, and Moderators — As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to moderate the social media community ALONE. If needed, distribute the tasks and duties to several areas of moderating. A brand’s online moderating team is usually comprised of a Social Media Manager, one Administrator, Multiple Moderators, and other Specialists for the Social Media Community.
The Importance of Social Media Moderation
It is good to presently have easy access to connectivity and interactions through social media platforms. It allows individuals to meet new people, discover new trends, events, and stay updated on what is happening to the world.
The world is building networks and community where individuals, collectively, as users participate in expressing and exchanging ideas for the good of everyone. Through social media, the limitless possibility of reaching and connecting people with evolving features is created.
However, it is inevitable that through its advantages and continuing growth, there is still a considerable amount of risk that exists with it.
This is where Social Media Moderation came about; it brought protection to a vast number of the online community. It keeps end-users away from dangerous contents that affect audiences of various social media networks and platforms.
Through the said guides, rules, policies and restrictions, the abusive use of violence, racism, discrimination, prejudices, profanity, stereotypes, pornography and other factors that lead to user’s emotional and mental breakdown, depression and anxiety can be prevented.
A healthy community will always be the wealth of every user. Social media moderation is the solution in the virtually toxic side of the internet.
Implementing and abiding the established community guidelines, knowing one’s limitations when sharing content online, and understanding the common good of what social media can bring — if all of these are collectively done in every social media site and online community, then lessening the harmful effect of social media contents will be possible.
CHOOSING A TRUSTED ONLINE MODERATION PARTNER
Here at New Media Services, we offer the best solutions for moderating your social media contents. We have skilled content moderators that specializes:
- Website Moderation
- User-Generated Content Moderation
- Image and Video Moderation
- Forum Moderation
- Community Moderation and Management
- Profanity Filter
- Profile Moderation
- Social Media Moderation
What are you waiting for? If you are looking for a quality partner for moderating your social media platforms and managing your social media community, the New Media Services may be just what you need! Send us a message and experience our flexible content moderation services.
Originally published at newmediaservices.com.au on April 1, 2019.