Social Media Moderation Guidelines
Have you ever heard of social media moderation services?
The existence of a dependable and consistent process for social content moderation makes people and businesses rethink the content that gets out and becomes associated with their accounts or their brand.
There are several different types of content spreading in today’s social media community. Whether it’s in the form of images, videos, texts, or music—one factor that must be taken as a priority in terms of what these content spread, is “Awareness.”
Are people fully aware of the effects and influences that each content can bring?
Do each customer know how safe they are from the potential harm that these contents may bring? Or is everyone using social platforms passively by allowing these contents to cause harm and spread misinformation?
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 become broader. With all the different content used and posted for entertainment, news, and business promotion, 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 use inappropriate, unacceptable, 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:
- Facebook – One of the most popular social media sites is Facebook. According to statistics, Mark Zuckerberg’s billion-dollar company has already reached over 2.44billion monthly active users worldwide as of the third quarter of 2019. Imagine the number of uploaded contents on this particular site? It is almost impossible to filter and monitor the inappropriate UGC posted online.
Here are some of Facebook’s most encountered problems:
- Political and religious rants
- Unfiltered images that contain violence, pornography, content promoting racism and hate speech
- Online bullying on forums and comment sections
- Some of the users’ strong tendency to use 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
- YouTube – Another popular and frequently visited website 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 number of subscribers in 2017. This only proves that viewer count affected and influenced by this particular site is more than enough to potentially pollute innocent and unknowing users from inappropriate contents that are being uploaded.
Despite allowing users the freedom to produce their own video content, the abuse of it leads to undesirable content that brings discomfort to fellow users and subscribers.
The list below shows the common problems encountered on YouTube:
- Uncensored pornographic videos
- Uncensored violent and brutal content
- Free speech leading to controversy
- Viral videos meant for attacking personalities, political and religious views
- Negative influences disguised as humorous skits
- Discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices
- Spreading hoax information and profanity
- Twitter – As one of the mainstream micro-blogging platforms, Twitter reached an average of 340 million active users as of October 2020. 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. Most online content moderators would also agree that the lack of focus on how to effectively moderate social media accounts is also among the reasons why trolls and fake profiles easily worm their way into the so-called Twitterverse. This, in turn, leads to massive influences that affect its main audience.
Twitter’s commonly encountered issues include:
- Abusive and discriminative language
- Manipulation through bots and human-coordination
- Misinformation campaigns
- Increasingly divisive echo chambers
- Profanity and vulgar words
- Inappropriate images, videos, and memes
- 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 sexually suggestive content
- Misleading articles
- Causes high level of anxiety, depression and loneliness
- Lack of sleep (insomnia)
- FOMO “Fear of Missing Out”
- Uncensored violence
- and other deviant user posts
- 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 have become a globally alarming issue. Without the control and prevention of a properly moderated social media platform, these threats to our online community make the present and future generations more vulnerable to the abusive and virtually toxic side of social media.
What is Social Media Moderation?
Social Media Moderation refers to the management and review of user-generated content (UGC) and activity on online social platforms.
The basic component of how to moderate social media effectively is the existence of concrete rules, guidelines, restrictions, and policies in each platform that all followers or users must strictly abide by. Posting guidelines are created to promote the wellness of each user for healthy interactions and activities. It also prevents undesirable contents from being posted and uploaded online.
Types of Social Media Moderation
Social media moderators know well that the four basic classifications are as follows:
- 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 process ensures that the content will not damage the brand’s reputation, and prevents cyber-bullying and radicalization. Pre-screening user posts in groups and pages are common in social media moderation meaning that exclusive digital communities where more people ”gather” and interact frequently are more prone to encountering arguments, exchanging inappropriate content, and misleading each other with posts unrelated to the community’s main objectives.
- 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. It is highly applicable for moderating social media comments because it does not disrupt the flow of conversation among users.
- 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 content, 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. That said, it is considered to be a more “involved” and subjective form of social media comment moderation because the input and judgment of several onlookers (in this case, other users) become a crucial factor in reviewing what other community members share.
- 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 to 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. Think of them as the internet’s content police. Their task is to see and to uphold rules, restrictions, and legal issues 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 a social media content moderation agent are:
- Social Media Managers – Responsible for moderating and managing the content 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, and memes posted on the online community.
Here is a simple guide on how to become an efficient social media moderator:
- 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 favorable & healthy interactions within the community must be promoted. Social media users 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.
- Consider All Feedback – Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, all of it must be taken into consideration. These feedback will be the key to a successful social media strategy. Positive feedback will serve as a brand’s motivating and encouraging factor, while negative feedback will serve as a guide for improvements.
- Collect and Save all Posts – Archiving the posts and content 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.
- Train Moderators to Manage – Community management is not an individual task that a single manager alone can handle. Ideally, hiring and training moderators to maximize defenses against inappropriate and disturbing content effectively ensures the safety of online community members. Outsourcing to a social media content moderation agency is also a smart and practical option if you lack resources yet still have a large volume of user posts to deal with regularly.
- Creating a “Give-and-Take Relationship” – A business’ relationship with their 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.
- 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 usually comprises a Social Media Manager, an 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 internet is building networks and communities 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 the formulation of a suitable and competent social media moderation solution came about. It brought protection to the online community in general. 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 unfiltered UGC will be possible.
Choosing a trusted online moderation partner is becoming more essential as more brands and individuals flock to social media for leisure and for business purposes. At New Media Services, we offer the best solutions for moderating your social media contents. We have skilled content moderators that specialize in the following:
- Community Moderation and Management
- Forum Moderation
- Image and Video Moderation
- Profanity Filter
- Profile Moderation
- Social Media Moderation
- User-Generated Content Moderation
- Website Moderation
What are you waiting for? If you are looking for a partner you can trust to bring high-quality and professional social media content moderation, social media community management, the New Media Services may be just what you need! Send us a message and let’s discuss further how we can help empower your online branding and keep your followers safe.