What It’s Really Like to Moderate Social Media Content

Faith Ocampo Published on March 29, 2017 Last updated on August 10, 2022

You can think of content moderators as the police guarding your online presenceโ€”be it on your website or social media pages. But what’s it really like for social media moderation services to evaluate web content?

social media content moderation depiction woman holding magnifying lens near binders

These days, most companies have a team that reviews every piece of content that goes into their online pages.

Social media moderation revolutionized the way we communicate, connect, and share information. These services are crucial for maintaining a safe and engaging online environment, ensuring that user-generated content adheres to platform guidelines and community standards.

The Role of Social Media Moderation Services

Social media moderation plays a multifaceted role in shaping the online experience for millions of users. Their responsibilities include enforcing platform policies, guidelines, and community standards. By monitoring and curating user-generated content, they ensure that posts, comments, and multimedia align with established rules.

Social media moderation services’ objectives are primarily:

  • To enable brands to present their best image online

    This mission is part of their online reputation management strategy. That way, they can make sure that their branding and marketing efforts are not in vain.

  • To protect users and enhance user experience

    Moderation protects site visitors and customers from offensive and harmful content. It ensures an enjoyable and safe browsing experience across online platforms.

Challenges and Benefits of Social Media Moderation Services

brand in need of social media moderation services depiction worried team in meeting business planning

One of the major challenges faced by social media moderation teams is the volume and velocity of content. With millions of users actively engaging in real-time conversations, the scale of content generation can be overwhelming.

Content moderation experts handling social media must develop efficient workflows, leverage technology tools, and exercise effective judgment to keep up with the ceaseless flow of information.

Social media moderation services are responsible for monitoring and reviewing a wide range of content, including hate speech, violence, nudity, harassment, spam, copyright infringement, and misinformation. Their vigilance helps maintain a safe and inclusive online environment for users.

The Social Media Moderator’s Most Wanted List

Social media moderators are tasked with monitoring and reviewing a wide range of content to ensure it complies with community guidelines and platform policies.

Here are some of the types of content that moderators are always on the lookout for:

content moderation services woman internet in the dark shocked covering mouth watching violent crime internet content
  • Hate speech and discrimination
  • Violence and graphic content
  • Nudity and sexual content
  • Harassment and cyberbullying
  • Spam and fake accounts
  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Misinformation and fake news
  • Sensitive or triggering content
  • Illegal activities
  • Policy violations

By diligently monitoring and addressing these types of content, content evaluators handling social media moderation services play a crucial role in maintaining a safe and inclusive online environment for users.

About Social Media Moderation Guidelines

social media moderation services depiction content moderation analyst holding magnifying lens on laptop

Social media has become an integral part of brand communication and engagement with customers. However, with the freedom and openness of social media platforms comes the need for effective social media moderation guidelines.

These guidelines are crucial for brands to maintain control over their online presence and ensure a positive and safe environment for their audience.

Here are some key reasons why social media moderation guidelines are important for brands:

    social media moderation services depiction businessman with outsourcing content moderation shield protecting brand reputation management
  • Protecting Brand Reputation

    Social media moderation services help protect the reputation of a brand by ensuring that inappropriate or harmful content is not associated with the brand’s online presence.

    By setting clear guidelines on acceptable behavior and content, brands can prevent negative experiences, offensive comments, and spam from tarnishing their reputation.

  • Ensuring Consistent Brand Voice

    Social media moderation provides a framework for maintaining a consistent brand voice across different social media channels. They help define the tone, language, and values that should be reflected in all brand interactions on social media. This consistency builds trust and familiarity with the audience, strengthening the brand’s identity.

  • Mitigating Legal Risks

    With the help of social media moderation services, brands can mitigate legal risks associated with user-generated content. These guidelines can outline the types of content that should be avoided, such as copyright infringement, defamation, or other illegal activities. By actively moderating and removing such content, brands demonstrate their commitment to legal compliance and protect themselves from potential legal issues.

  • social media moderation services depiction diverse people using laptops smartphones on safe online communities
  • Creating a Safe and Positive Community

    Social media platforms can be breeding grounds for hate speech, cyberbullying, and other forms of online harassment. Social media moderation guidelines enable brands to create a safe and positive community by setting clear expectations for user behavior.

    By monitoring and removing offensive or harmful content, brands foster a supportive and inclusive environment where users feel comfortable engaging with the brand and each other.

  • Encouraging User Engagement

    Effective social media moderation services strike a balance between filtering out inappropriate content and encouraging user engagement. By defining acceptable user behavior, brands empower their audience to actively participate, share their thoughts, and contribute to discussions in a respectful manner. Clear guidelines also help users understand what is expected of them, reducing uncertainty and encouraging more meaningful interactions.

  • Addressing Customer Concerns

    Social media moderation provides a mechanism for brands to address customer concerns and complaints. By promptly responding to and resolving issues raised by users, brands demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and build trust. Guidelines can outline the process for handling customer feedback, including reporting mechanisms and response times.

  • social media moderation services depiction delighted consumer with shopping bags
  • Enhancing Brand Credibility

    Brands with social media moderation services that actively moderate their online channels and enforce guidelines are viewed as more credible and trustworthy by their audience.

    When users see that a brand takes the time to ensure a positive and respectful online environment, they are more likely to engage with the brand, share their positive experiences, and recommend it to others.

A Sneak Peek Into Moderating Social Media Content

Moderators handle critical responsibilities, so it’s a wonder why most managers are quick to chuck social media content moderation as another easy and mundane task. Those who outsource this function are especially prone to believing this myth, but nothing can be farther from the truth.

This is why many companies opt to outsource to professional social media moderation services and their expert teams that reviews every piece of content that goes into their online pages.

Here’s what it’s really like to moderate social media and web content.

  • It Involves a Lot of Analysis

    social media content moderation expert evaluating analyzing website on laptop

    If you’re frequently active on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you’re likely to come across various types of content, with photos being among the most frequently shared. The role of social media moderation services is to ensure that no inappropriate, indecent, or harmful content in any form gets uploaded to your online accounts.

    The challenge lies in determining which posts should be removed and which should be allowed to remain on the platform, and this can be especially tricky if your brand lacks well-defined content policies. While it’s clear that photos depicting violence or nudity should be taken down, the situation becomes murkier when dealing with ambiguous content (such as posts that may or may not suggest indecent or harmful themes). Should the intentions behind a piece of content’s distribution be taken into account? And what about posts that might offend some but not others?

    In many cases, the ultimate decision boils down to the judgment of the individuals overseeing the social media moderation services. They must also be prepared to justify their choices if a user disputes the removal of their content. To preempt such disputes, it’s beneficial to establish explicit and precise guidelines. However, in crafting these rules, you must also consider how they might impact users’ browsing experiences.

  • It’s Fun and Interesting

    social media content moderation agent excited open eyes staring at laptop

    Engaging in social media moderation services can also prove to be an enjoyable and intriguing endeavor. The sheer amount of time moderators invest in perusing diverse content types results in them acquiring a wealth of insights. This encompasses staying updated on current news and events, tracking emerging trends, delving into viral subjects, uncovering useful trivia, and much more.

    Beyond these captivating nuggets of information, moderators can cultivate an extensive understanding of a brand’s clientele and their areas of interest. While managers might not immediately consider consulting their moderators regarding online customer discussions, these moderators can serve as a valuable reservoir of insider knowledge about customers.

  • It Can Be Stressful and Upsetting

    social media content moderation agents terrified scared at website on laptop

    Here comes the bad part: social media content moderation can become stressful and upsetting.

    Professionals handling social media moderation services must consistently be on the lookout for not-safe-for-work (NSFW) user-generated content, including those that portray violence or explicit sexual themes. Depending on the brand or website they’re affiliated with, exposure to such content might be a regular occurrence. Consequently, over time, they could potentially experience emotional distress or even psychological trauma.

    In addition to these demands, they must also meet their daily quotas to keep up with the influx of posts. Given that images and videos rank among the most frequently shared content on social platforms, moderators often prioritize these content types over others. Images can be assessed relatively quickly, while evaluating videos consumes more time.

    Given the weight of these stressors, it becomes crucial for social media moderation services to offer counseling services and other forms of mental health support to content moderation teams. This not only ensures optimal work performance but, more significantly, safeguards their mental well-being.

  • There’s No Room for Mistakes

    social media content moderation agent upsent crying consoled by call center team leader

    When managing an online community, which may include online forums, social media pages or groups, and websites, social media content moderation teams can’t afford to commit errors.

    Content moderation goes beyond simply upholding community guidelines; it encompasses preserving a space that is respectful, informative, and secure. A single oversight can lead to the propagation of harmful or misleading content, triggering a cascade of undesirable outcomes.

    A misjudged decision by the social media moderation services to allow inappropriate content can tarnish a reputation irreparably. Conversely, unjustified removal of benign content might trigger user backlash or legal issues. These blunders not only impact immediate perceptions but reverberate through the digital landscape, casting doubt on the credibility of the platform.

    The fast-paced nature of social media demands vigilance and precision. A delay in addressing harmful content could mean the rapid spread of misinformation or offensive material. The public’s trust in the platform hinges on the confidence that their interactions occur within a controlled and safe environment. Social media moderation services carry the weight of this responsibility, leaving no margin for error.

The Impact on Moderators’ Mental Health and Well-Being

social media moderation services depiction content moderator with headache mental health issues

Behind the scenes, dedicated moderators face an emotional burden as they navigate the relentless flow of user-generated content.

They are constantly exposed to explicit and potentially traumatizing content, which can lead to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and psychological distress. Online harassment and abuse further contribute to the emotional burden moderators face.

However, amidst the challenges, there is a glimmer of hopeโ€”a sense of community and peer support that serves as a lifeline for moderators.

    social media moderation services depiction sympathetic outsourcing team leader comforting content moderator
  • The Emotional Burden

    Content moderation takes an emotional toll on moderators, who are continuously exposed to disturbing and offensive content. The constant barrage of negativity can lead to psychological distress, anxiety, and burnout.

    It’s essential for brands and social media moderation services to prioritize the mental well-being of moderators through supportive policies, counseling services, and regular breaks to prevent compassion fatigue and ensure their long-term well-being.

  • social media moderation services depiction sympathetic outsourcing team comforting content moderator group support
  • Community Support and Peer Networks

    Creating a supportive community within the moderation team is crucial for mitigating the emotional challenges faced by moderators. Peer networks and support groups allow moderators to share experiences, seek advice, and find solace in knowing they are not alone.

    Regular team meetings, training sessions, and open channels of communication foster a sense of belonging and resilience among content moderators.

Tools and Technologies in Social Media Moderation Services

Social media moderation relies on a range of tools and technologies to efficiently analyze and filter user-generated content.

Automated moderation tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms help flag and filter potentially problematic content, while keyword filters and image recognition software assist in identifying specific types of spam, hate speech, or offensive material.

While automation is valuable, human judgment remains indispensable in cases that require context, understanding cultural nuances, and making subjective decisions. Content management systems provide user-friendly interfaces for manual review, allowing moderators to strike the right balance between enforcing policies and preserving freedom of expression.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Moderation Services

social media content moderation team working on website printout

Brands across different industries like yours are outsourcing content moderation to effectively manage their social media platforms.

By entrusting social media moderation to third-party experts, businesses can streamline their operations, ensure consistent moderation practices, and maintain a safe and engaging online environment for their users.

Here are the benefits of outsourcing content moderation for businesses, highlighting how it can enhance efficiency, expertise, scalability, and cost-effectiveness in the realm of social media management.

    social media moderation services depiction diligent content moderator working in outsourcing firm
  • Access to Expertise

    Outsourcing social media moderation services brings businesses access to a team of experienced professionals who specialize in moderating social media content. These experts are well-versed in community guidelines, platform policies, and legal considerations.

    They possess a deep understanding of the evolving landscape of online content and are trained to identify and address various forms of inappropriate, harmful, or spammy content. By leveraging their expertise, businesses can ensure that their social media platforms remain compliant, secure, and aligned with industry best practices.

  • Enhanced Efficiency

    By outsourcing content moderation, businesses can improve the efficiency of their social media management processes. Dedicated social media moderation services work round the clock to monitor and review user-generated content, ensuring that potential issues are promptly addressed.

    With their streamlined workflows and established protocols, they can swiftly identify and remove spam, offensive material, and other violations. This proactive approach helps businesses maintain a clean and engaging social media presence while freeing up internal resources to focus on core activities, such as content creation and customer engagement.

  • social media moderation services depiction scalable content moderation solutions growing team
  • Scalability and Flexibility

    Outsourcing social media moderation services provides businesses with the flexibility to scale their operations based on demand. During peak periods or special events, moderation needs may increase significantly.

    By partnering with a reliable social media moderation services provider, businesses can tap into a scalable workforce that can quickly adjust to handle higher volumes of content moderation. This ensures that businesses can efficiently manage surges in user-generated content without compromising on response times or the quality of moderation.

  • Multilingual and Cultural Expertise

    As businesses expand their reach globally, managing content across multiple languages and cultural contexts becomes increasingly important. Outsourcing social media moderation services enables businesses to access a diverse pool of moderators who possess multilingual capabilities and cultural expertise.

    This allows for accurate and culturally sensitive moderation, ensuring that content is appropriately reviewed and understood in various regions and demographics. The ability to moderate content in different languages strengthens a brand’s global presence while mitigating potential misinterpretations or misunderstandings.

  • cost efficient social media moderation services depiction finance personnel calculator computing accounting
  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Outsourcing social media moderation services can be a cost-effective solution for businesses, especially compared to the expenses associated with building an in-house moderation team. The outsourcing model eliminates the need for recruitment, training, infrastructure, and ongoing management of an internal team.

    Instead, businesses can leverage the expertise and infrastructure of the outsourcing provider, paying for the services on a flexible and scalable basis. This approach allows businesses to optimize their resources and allocate their budget more efficiently, ultimately leading to cost savings in the long run.

Social media moderation plays a critical role in maintaining a safe and positive online environment. Professional moderators face challenges related to content volume, graphic material, and emotional well-being. By leveraging tools, prioritizing moderators’ mental health, and considering outsourcing options, businesses can benefit from effective social media moderation services and create a trustworthy and engaging user experience.

Social media moderation is more important than ever, and for businesses, this means an increased focus on the online channels where they are seen by customers. When businesses need to prioritize other things, outsourcing social media moderation services to a reliable third party becomes an option.

As a brand, you need a reliable support system in this area. But instead of investing your resource and expenses on putting together an in-house team of moderators, many businesses today have taken on outsourcing. It’s a viable option that only works if you partner with a social media content moderation expert.

Open Access BPO is a seasoned provider of outsourcing business solutions. With over a decade of experience under its belt, our social media moderation services are hyper-customizable and highly scalable. This means our program experts will work with you in creating a program that not only matches your operational goals and budget. It will also grow as your business needs expand.

Our pool of agents also operate under the data security practices, complying with today’s information security standards so brands can be sure safety and privacy remains a top priority by our moderators.

Contact us today, and tell our program experts your current operational needs, goals, and targeted growth.


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Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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