Though people are distancing themselves physically, they’re staying close virtually. This is where content moderation comes in.
Content moderation outsourcing simply refers to the practice of analyzing user-generated submissions, such as reviews, videos, social media posts, or forum discussions. Content moderators will then decide whether a particular submission can be used or not on that platform.
In other words, when content is submitted by a user to a website, that piece of content will go through a screening process. It is to make sure that the content adheres to the regulations of the website.
Unacceptable content is therefore removed based on its inappropriateness, legal status, or its potential to offend.
Automated tools are used to curate, organize, filter, and classify the information we see online. They are therefore pivotal in shaping not only the content we engage with but also the experience each individual user has on a given platform.
Although these tools can be deployed across a range of categories, there are still a number of limitations that you may encounter.
In the case of content such as extremist content and hate speech, there is a range of nuanced variations in speech related to different groups and regions. The context of this content can be critical in understanding whether or not it should be removed.
As a result, developing comprehensive datasets for these categories of content is challenging. Developing and operationalizing a tool that can be reliably applied across different groups, regions, and sub-types of speech is also extremely difficult.
Although smaller platforms may rely on off-the-shelf automated tools, the reliability of these tools to identify content across a range of platforms is limited.
In comparison, proprietary tools developed by Magellan Solutions are often comparatively more accurate, as we have employees trained on datasets reflective of the types of content and speech they are meant to evaluate.
In theory, automated content moderation tools should be easy to create and implement.
But human speech is not objective. Moreso, the process of content moderation is inherently subjective, these tools are limited in that they are unable to comprehend the nuances and contextual variations present in human speech.
In addition, automated tools are also limited in their ability to derive contextual insights from content. However, it is unlikely to be able to determine whether the post depicts pornography or perhaps breastfeeding, which is permitted on many platforms.
Automated content moderation tools tend to also become outdated rapidly. This demonstrates the need to continuously update algorithmic tools, as well as the need for decision-making processes to incorporate context in judging whether posts with such hashtags are objectionable or not.
These tools further need to be updated as language and meaning evolve. In order to keep up, automated tools would have to adapt quickly and be trained across a wide range of domains. However, users could continue developing new forms of speech in response, thus limiting the ability of these tools to act with significant speed and scale.
As of now, AI researchers have been unable to construct comprehensive enough datasets that can account for the vast fluidity and variances in human language and expression.
As a result, these automated tools cannot be reliably deployed across different cultures and contexts, as they are unable to effectively account for the various political, cultural, economic, social, and power dynamics that shape how individuals express themselves and engage with one another.
One of the key concerns around algorithmic decision-making across a range of industries is the presence of bias in automated tools. Decisions based on automated tools, including in the content moderation space, run the risk of further marginalizing and censoring groups that already face disproportionate prejudice and discrimination online and offline.
As outlined in a report by the Center for Democracy & Technology, there are many types of biases that can be amplified through the use of these tools. Tools that have a lower accuracy when parsing non-English text can therefore result in harmful outcomes for non-English speakers, especially when applied to languages that are not very prominent on the internet.
Given that a large number of the users of major internet platforms reside outside English-speaking countries, this is highly concerning.
Personal and cultural biases of researchers are also likely to find their way into training datasets. This bias can be mitigated to some extent by testing for intercoder reliability, but it is unlikely to combat the majority view on what falls into a particular category.
One of the primary concerns around the deployment of automated solutions in the content moderation space is the fundamental lack of transparency that exists around algorithmic decision-making.
Algorithms are often referred to as “black boxes,” because there is little insight into how they are coded, what datasets they are trained on, how they identify correlations and make decisions, and how reliable and accurate they are. Indeed, with black-box machine learning systems, researchers are not able to identify how the algorithm makes the correlations it identifies.
Although many companies have been pushed to provide more transparency around their own proprietary automated tools, they have refrained from doing so. Companies claimed that the tools are protected as trade secrets in order to maintain their competitive edge in the market.
Furthermore, some researchers have suggested that, in this regard, transparency does not necessarily generate accountability. In this case, transparency around these practices can generate accountability around how these platforms are managing user expression.
Lastly, unlike humans, algorithms lack “critical reflection.”As a result, other ways for companies to provide transparency in a manner that generates accountability are also being explored.
While artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way over the years and companies continuously work on their AI algorithms, the truth is that human moderators are still essential for managing your brand online and ensuring your content is up to snuff.
Humans are still the best when it comes to reading, understanding, interpreting, and moderating content. Because of this, great businesses will make use of both AI and humans when creating an online presence and moderating content online.
Below Magellan Solutions tell you why content moderation from BPO companies in Metro Manila is still needed in the age of AI and technology:
One of the most important reasons human moderators are necessary is because they’re more skilled at reading between the lines. Hidden meanings will sometimes be lost on an AI when in many cases, a human could easily grasp the meaning in an instant.
For example, one of our financial service customers decided to leave a post up stating ‘It would be suicidal to invest in …. ‘. An AI would have picked up the word ‘suicidal’ and deleted it right away. On the other hand, a human can understand the figure of speech and keep the comment up.
If you need social media moderation then it will pay to have a human moderator who can easily understand the true meaning of a customer complaint and dig through the hidden layers to determine the best course of action.
AI can do a great job of understanding basic definitions or ideas quickly. However, humans are usually much better when it comes to reading between the lines to understand underlying issues and concerns.
Similar to the above statement, humans are more skilled at moderation because they can fully grasp the concepts of context and intent.
In the English language, words can take on different meanings depending on how they are used in a sentence and depending on the overall meaning of a passage. In some cases, images can also take on different meanings depending on how they are being used as well. AI can detect an image, but cannot determine how it is being used.
For example, one of our customers provides fitness, nutrition, and weight loss programs. Their customers post pictures of their weight loss results on a daily basis, but some people go as far as posting partially or fully nude pictures. Now for an AI, it would be hard to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable.
A human can recognize the nuances in the image and make the right decision about whether or not the photo is appropriate.AI can do a great job of flagging inappropriate content and filtering spam and usually does it without a hitch.
However, it won’t always grasp the full intent and context of a social media post or a customer comment. Fortunately, humans can understand not only a word’s definition but also how and why it is being used in the moment and in which context.
If you want to create real conversations with your audience online then it’s important that you have human moderators.
While AIs are being taught to be more conversational, they’re not fooling anyone just yet. Chatbots, for example, can be helpful for interacting with customers to provide straightforward information. Yet, they don’t have the level of humanity needed to really connect with customers in an engaging and personalized conversation.
Human moderation, on the other hand, is ideal for interacting with customers.
Human moderators can easily respond to comments and messages to create a back and forth conversation. This conversation will be authentic and can help build a customer’s relationship with your brand.
Brand reputation management is extremely important in this day and age.
Like it or not, some customers will vent their frustration online if they have had a bad experience with your products or services. A canned response from an AI is the last thing an upset customer wants.
As part of creating a conversation online, human moderators will do the best job of resolving issues and dealing with customer feedback.
Human moderators have the intelligence and know-how to resolve complaints strategically. They can even flip a negative customer experience into a positive one by taking the right approach.
Relying on human moderation will help build your brand online and will ensure that any customer complaints are handled in the best way possible.
In addition to managing your brand reputation, human moderators are also helpful for providing basic customer support and resolving issues.
Our customers in the financial industry, for example, often receive questions from their customers about their accounts. A human will have to log into the systems to actually provide the service requested.
While AI tools can also help to provide support to customers online, they are limited to the knowledge and answers that have been programmed into them.
For example, we’ve probably all used automated systems to find out our account balance. However, when a question is more specific or unusual, an AI may not have the answers requested.
Humans have the ability to think creatively. They can go more in-depth when resolving issues related to your business or products. They’ll be able to provide real-time customer service and support.
Every customer problem or concern will be different. Humans are still the best at choosing a personalized approach to take based on a customer’s specific needs.
Another area in which humans tend to do a bit better is when it comes to aligning content and moderation with your brand vision.
As a serious company, you should always be aiming to create a cohesive brand image and should be using a similar brand voice when posting content online.
While AI can provide basic moderation for your business and can interact in a predefined way, it isn’t as skilled at keeping your entire brand vision in focus during communications with customers.
A human moderator will be superior at keeping your brand in mind when interacting with customers on social media. Human moderators will perform their work while ensuring every move they make aligns with your brand values and your brand voice.
Another benefit of human moderation is that human moderators can better understand what your customers are thinking. They can pay attention to any significant trends that appear.
Human moderators understand the importance of social listening and can skillfully ask questions of customers and get their opinions on products and services.
By engaging customers, reading between the lines, and taking suggestions seriously, human moderators can help propel your business forward. The insights they learn can be used to positively improve your business and can serve to guide future marketing tactics and strategies as well.
AI excels when it comes to digesting large amounts of information and getting a basic understanding of it. However, it won’t be able to get the same insights as a human who understands both the big picture and the minutiae.
We find product testimonials for one of our clients, in their social media channels and other online posts. This client uses these testimonials to inspire their employees and other customers. We also find negative posts that provide valuable product feedback that this client uses to make changes to their products and services.
Fake news is a real and serious danger that lurks online. Tons of false information and harmful content are published on social media and similar platforms, which then get shared fast and wide, uncontrollably throughout the web.
It doesn’t help that people who get paid to write fake news articles make them look legitimate, so it’s hard to identify what’s real and what’s not.
Online platforms don’t seem to prioritize managing spammy content on their end, either, but you can always step up to protect your brand’s online reputation through content moderation.
American history and political culture assign priority to the private in governing speech online and particularly on social media. The arguments advanced for a greater scope of government power do not stand up. Granting such power would gravely threaten free speech and the independence of the private sector.
We have seen that tech companies are grappling with many of the problems cited by those calling for public action. The companies are technically sophisticated and thus far more capable of dealing with these issues.
Of course, the efforts of the companies may warrant scrutiny and criticisms, now and in the future. But at the moment, a reasonable person can see promise in their efforts, particularly in contrast to the likely dangers posed by government regulation.
Government officials may attempt directly or obliquely to compel tech companies to suppress disfavored speech. The victims of such public-private censorship would have little recourse apart from political struggle.
Tech companies would then be drawn into the swamp of polarized and polarizing politics. To avoid politicizing tech, it is vital that private content moderators be able to ignore explicit or implicit threats to their independence from government officials.
These tech firms need to nurture their legitimacy to moderate content. The companies may have to fend off government officials eager to suppress speech in the name of the “public good.” The leaders of these businesses may regret being called to meet this challenge with all its political and social dangers and complexities.
But this task cannot be avoided. No one else can or should do the job.
The US is currently facing a new government.
While it has not been a year yet, Magellan Solutions is aware of how sensitive the politics are in the economy. There is always some kind of fear that the normal citizen fears if their freedom to speak will be used to hold them guilty if anything arises out of misunderstood social media posts and mere human rantings.
Rest assured that leading social media firms are doing their part. They’re aggressively imposing stronger rules and guidelines about what’s acceptable for users to post. They’re moving swiftly to delete inaccurate or purposely misleading material that moderators find. They’re also promoting content from health officials and other trusted authorities.
We are making this a top priority for good reason. By ensuring that the highest standards are protecting users’ online experiences during unsettling times, they’re securing customer loyalty today and for the long term.
Contact us today for a free trial on our content moderation services. And if you find us helpful? Simply fill in the form below and we’ll set you up with your team of moderators.
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