Moderating user-generated content (UGC) requires precise, level-headed analysis that automated moderators can’t always provide. Sure, programs, tools, and plug-ins may be able to filter banned words or files from getting published on your site, but that’s mostly how far they can go. When it comes to protecting your audience from harmful content while maintaining your brand’s image online, there’s nothing more reliable than the conscious judgment that only a human content moderator can make.
Content moderation, if done by actual people, allows thoughts and ideas to be interpreted within their true context. Unlike automated moderation, humans have the ability to read between the lines. It’s truly a must for an ideal content moderator to have this skill, along with these other traits that can help him manage community-contributed content efficiently:
• Community exposure and experience
We’re not just talking about experience in moderating UGC from an online community, although that would definitely be a strong asset to have. Moderators should have experience in being part of a web community, be it a forum, a Facebook group, a blogging circle, or their own website. Exposure to cyber hubs gives a clear and realistic idea of how members harmonize with each other, what behaviors are generally deemed offensive, why guidelines should be adhered to, and how moderation basically works.
It would be a much bigger plus to have special knowledge in certain niche communities. Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) sites, for instance, have rules that are uniquely theirs. Moderators with extensive knowledge about this type of community would have better judgment and insight if tasked to handle an account with a similar nature.
• Savvyness in multiple platforms
Many brands integrate moderation into their social media services to protect their assets and uphold community standards on their social networking sites. Thus, it would be ideal for moderators to know their way around popular social networks and other platforms outside social media. Not only should they be savvy about how liking, sharing, pinning, or tweeting work, they should also be updated about policy changes on the channel or community they handle.
• Linguistic expertise
Photos and videos are not the only submissions that undergo evaluation. Many brands—particularly e-commerce and review sites—need aid in keeping the comments and testimonials they receive accurate, spam-free, and comprehensible. This is why diverse communities would love to have multilingual moderators who can check the quality of text written in different languages. If your content moderation team has mastery in the languages they speak, understanding colloquialisms and slang would not be that much of an issue, especially if these are prevalently used by your audience.
Human interactions deserve to be managed by real people with excellent judgment if you want your online community to remain human. Automation may smoothen processes, but human skills, along with these traits, could do a better job at maintaining order and quality in your community.