Last Updated: December 2023
User-generated content is undoubtedly one of the best ways to reach consumers.
That’s because a significant proportion – 72% of consumers trust user-generated testimonials as much as peer recommendations.
However, sharing and posting user-generated content carries a number of risks in terms of how it can affect users’ perceptions of your brand. Content such as explicit videos, spam, fake reviews, or obscene comments can spread quickly and widely, harming your company’s online reputation.
This is where user-generated content moderation comes into play. It is essential to filter out inappropriate content while also taking steps to safeguard your brand’s online reputation.
In this post, we’ll help you know:
- What is Content Moderation?
- User-Generated Content Statistics
- Why is Content Moderation Important for User-Generated Campaigns
- The Challenges of UGC Moderation
- Human UGC Moderation
- AI UGC Moderation
- A Hybrid Approach: Human Moderation with Artificial Intelligence
- Content Moderation Infographic
What is Content Moderation?
According to Transparency Market Research, content moderation is becoming a huge business, with a volume of $11.8 billion expected by 2027.
So, what exactly is content moderation?
Content moderation is a screening process that removes any harmful or inappropriate content, allowing customers to have the safest, most positive, and authentic experience possible.
Have a look at the graph below that shows the content moderation by Facebook:
When you apply a set of guidelines to user-generated videos, images, comments, blogs, forums, and other posts, you gain more control over the type of information your audience is exposed to.
Before we talk more about the content moderation of UGC, let’s understand the importance and scope of UGC with help of the following statistics:
User-Generated Content Statistics
Here are some valuable statistics on UGC that will help you know how beneficial user-generated content can be to the overall success of your brand:
- Increase conversions: The conversion rate increases up to 10% when visual user-generated content is present on a shopper’s path to purchases.
- Reduce costs: The cost of UGC is one of its most appealing features. UGC is significantly less expensive to implement than large marketing campaigns. UGC-based ads can cut your cost-per-click by 50%.
- Drive revenue: According to a study, 84% of millennial customers say user-generated content (UGC) like reviews and testimonials affect their financial decisions.
- Millennials as the target audience: A survey of 839 millennials found that they spend 5.4 hours a day on user-generated content.
- Easy to source: According to DMNews, millennials are more active in social networks- they create up to 70% of UGC.
- Improve credibility: For 86% of millennials, UGC is an indicator of the quality of a brand’s goods and services. Moreover, millennials trust UGC 50% more than the original content generated by the brands.
- Higher engagement: Visitors to websites that include UGC galleries spend 90% more time on the site.
So if you must have understood the scope of user-generated content, let’s understand why UGC requires moderation.
Why is Content Moderation Important for User Generated Campaigns?
Content moderation is becoming increasingly important in platforms where people share content online. Any online platform that uses user-generated content (UGC) must deal with this issue.
Let’s look a the two main platforms that showcase UGC.
Brands that advertise on various social media platforms may not want to be associated with certain types of content. These brands also need to actively start moderating user-generated content to protect their audience from inappropriate or disturbing content.
Online retailers also use content moderation tools to ensure that consumers see only high-quality, business-friendly content. They can identify potentially harmful images, video, text, and audio content and ensure that it does not violate the policies of their e-commerce store.
Other online platforms that require content moderation include: dating sites, forums, blogs, customer review websites, photosharing websites, and the list goes on.
The majority of online businesses require a scalable content moderation process to protect their brand and users. This usually requires automated tools and a dedicated team of content moderators who have been trained and are ready to monitor UGC posts.
The Challenges of User-generated Content Moderation
When it comes to user-generated content moderation, there are a few factors to consider.
The first challenge is scale.
Because of the overwhelming volume of content, you must assemble a large team without sacrificing accuracy or quality. The alternative is to delegate this to AI models, which have their own set of issues, such as a lack of accuracy when it comes to understanding context and the need to regularly update datasets, to name a few.
Have a look at the graphic below that shows the volume of content generated online every minute:
Then there’s the issue of language. If you have a global audience, your content moderation team or artificial intelligence must be able to recognize dozens of different languages, as well as the social contexts.
The good news is businesses can turn to third-party UGC moderation platforms to deliver a scalable and accurate system.
Human UGC Moderation
Human content moderation, also known as manual moderation, is the manual execution of image, video, and text moderation tasks by a team of moderators.
Human moderation teams focus on following business or platform-specific rules and guidelines. They protect your online audience by keeping content off the platform that could be considered illegal, spam, inappropriate, violent, or harassing.
Human content moderators are primarily responsible for the following:
- To prevent trolls from accessing your site and posting inappropriate content, limit the users who can post on it.
- They use a predefined content strategy to determine what types of content users can submit.
- Human moderators monitor the content posted about your brand to flag and remove offensive or inappropriate content.
Advantages of Human moderation:
- Human moderators are still preferred because they can examine and judge the user intent behind the texts, images, and videos.
- Human moderators are better suited to ensuring that every decision they make is consistent with your brand values and voice.
- Another advantage of using human moderators is that they can gain insights into what your customers are thinking. They can keep an eye out for any significant trends that emerge.
Disadvantages of Human moderation:
- The scale involved is a significant disadvantage of using only human moderators to filter content. The volume of content uploaded is arguably greater than what a team of human moderators can flag and remove effectively.
- Having full-time, round-the-clock moderators on staff is expensive. It will also take time because moderators will need extensive training and supervision.
- Exposure to violent or traumatic content online: Facebook employs approximately 15,000 moderators worldwide and has been criticized in the past for not providing adequate support to these employees and for placing them in conditions that can lead to trauma.
AI UGC Moderation
Internet giants and many other organizations are also exploring avenues such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) for content moderation. Artificial intelligence or an automated tool can evaluate different formats of content in real-time, across multiple languages, and ensure accurate, effective, and customizable moderation.
AI-powered content moderation enables businesses to take care of the following:
- Brands can create and modify a set of guidelines for these tools to follow.
- Images containing illegal content can be automatically filtered.
- They can also create keyword or phrase blacklists for UGC to detect and remove inappropriate content shared by users more quickly.
Advantages of AI Content Moderation:
- The power of AI can help human moderators increase their productivity. Automated tools can improve workflow by flagging content based on priority for human moderators to review.
- As previously stated, exposure to disturbing content can be extremely traumatic. Using an automated tool saves human moderators from having to go through the most upsetting content because it is prescreened for them.
- The last thing users want to do is wait for a human moderator to approve their posts. Using an automated tool to moderate large amounts of content quickly can help tackle this problem.
Disadvantages of AI Content Moderation:
Artificial Intelligence is clearly a solution for increased accuracy and efficiency in content moderation. However, automated tools for content moderation have a number of limitations:
- Critics have pointed out that artificial intelligence may lack the ability of a human moderator to judge the context of online content. It can be nearly impossible for a program to know what it’s looking at, especially when it comes to topics like racism, harassment, and so on.
- Furthermore, creating comprehensive datasets for various content categories and contexts can be difficult.
- Another major source of concern is that the use of automated tools leads to instances of inaccurate moderation and censorship.
A Hybrid Approach: Human Moderation with Artificial Intelligence
Human content and automation moderation should not be used to replace one another. The ideal scenario is for human moderation to team up with AI solutions to accurately and effectively filter through content.
It’s important for brands and platforms to keep a team of human moderators on board since automated tools lack the ability to make accurate decisions in complex situations involving user intent.
AI programs can be primarily used in detecting spam, identifying posts with inappropriate content, and accepting and rejecting user comments.
Human content moderation, on the other hand, will focus on the activity of members in a brand’s online community, reviewing flagged posts with highly sensitive content, and analyzing the context surrounding questionable UGC.
UGC Content Moderation Infographic
At any given time, millions of people are sharing and consuming content in this content-driven world. If you have a presence on social media networking sites or an eCommerce site, having a user-generated content moderator in place to improve user experience and brand image is a logical next step.
We hope that this article has shown you why investing in content moderation is a no-brainer for your brand. Regardless of which strategy you decide is best for your company, having both AI and human moderators provides you with the efficiency of an automated tool as well as the sound judgment that only humans can provide.
After moderating the UGC content, you can try the Helplama Helpdesk – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.