From Whoops to Worry: Why You Should Be Moderating Your Content

By: Brittany Corners | Published: December 18, 2013

content moderation

Picture this – You create one of the best mobile apps of 2013. Millions of people use your app, and you want to release a new feature to keep your users interested and happy. What is the worst that could happen? A graphic video of very, very adult content is blasted on your homepage as an “Editor’s Pick” for all of your users – young and old – to see. Whoops?

This imaginary situation is a very real event for Vine, a video-sharing app that was named a
top mobile app of 2013. They are not alone in this type of “whoops” moment, with such companies as Virgin Media, BT and O2 falling into a similar sticky situation. So how does something like this happen – and how can it be prevented?

Reactive Moderation

Many online communities and websites are small enough that they can use reactive moderation for content curation and open comment sections, relying on their community members to “flag” anything that is deemed inappropriate. Bigger companies, such as Facebook and Vine (obviously), have sites that are too extensive and cannot rely on their users alone to find videos or content that violates their policies. Many bigger companies now use crowdsourcing services to review any content or videos posted by outside users. This is where more intense forms of moderation come into play.


No matter how many security features you implement or how devoted your online community is, there is always a chance that spammers target your site for attack. If your company is known for being kid-friendly or family-centric, one inappropriate post can diminish your reputation in no time. Some moderation services offer what is called pre-moderation, which actually stops any new content or videos from appearing on your site and sends every new post through a moderation process to make sure every policy is followed. While this is highly intensive, this is a guaranteed way to avoid the mishaps mentioned above here.


Some companies thrive on having a very active online community; unfortunately, pre-moderation does put a huge barrier on an interactive community and their online interaction. Real-time moderation, or post-moderation, sends every new comment or video to moderation after it appears to your site. While it is posted, it is reviewed right away and is removed almost instantaneously if it violates any policy. While a bit riskier, it is best suited for larger companies that have engaging, active online user bases.

On the Internet, a mistake that lasts only seconds can make it into a news story that lasts for days – or worse – ruins the reputation and integrity of a company. Whether big or small, any size company should employ a moderation process that monitors and prevents “whoopsies” from occurring. Check out the managed crowdsourcing solutions offered here to get started!


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