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5 moments when #ModerationMatters

February 16, 2024 | UGC

We often talk in this blog about the dark side of UGC: CSAM, deepfakes or harmful uses of generative AI. To be an effective content moderator, you need to be able to confront this dark side. But one of the myths of content moderation is that we spend all of our days looking at horrible, hardcore content. The reality is, a lot of the time we’re looking for things like IP infringement or low-quality content, and making sure that user content meets specific community guidelines. It’s not always dark and troubling. In fact, sometimes it’s quirky, unpredictable, and even eyebrow-raising!

The reality is that in our digital age, content moderation matters more than ever. Through our #ModerationMatters campaign, we’ve compiled a series of amusing yet thought-provoking scenarios (a few are real, others hypothetical) that demonstrate just how crucial and challenging moderation can be.

From whimsical mishaps in online marketplaces to unexpected twists in social media interactions, each of the memes below provides a laugh, but also a unique glimpse into the complexities of moderating user-generated content in all its forms. As we dive into these examples, you’ll see why effective moderation isn’t just about maintaining standards, but also about preserving the integrity, safety, and trust of our online communities.

#ModerationMatters When… Real Estate Listings Meet Imagination

#ModerationMatters When… Real Estate Listings Meet Imagination

In the competitive world of online real estate, a standout listing is key. But what if you stumbled upon a Zillow listing for a “luxurious beachfront property” only to find the accompanying image showcasing a meticulously crafted sand castle? While amusing and imaginative (the listing’s creator either fancies themselves a prankster or was just being careless), this scenario, again, highlights the importance of content moderation to ensure accuracy. This playful mix-up, although charming, underscores why #ModerationMatters in online listings.

It’s not just about preventing fraudulent or misleading content, but also about maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of your platform. Inaccuracies, even if unintentional or humorous, can lead to confusion and diminish user confidence. After all, if this blatantly out of place listing went unnoticed, what else is being missed?

This sand castle listing, while humorous, serves as a gentle reminder of the vital role that effective content moderation plays in ensuring that what we see online is a trustworthy reflection of reality, keeping both the whimsy and the facts in perfect balance.

#ModerationMatters When… Historical Humor Meets Modern Dating

#ModerationMatters When… Historical Humor Meets Modern Dating

Swipe right for a royal encounter? Users on a dating app might be amused to find a profile named ‘Henry’, accompanied not by a selfie but a portrait of the infamous Henry VIII, King of England. While this historical twist in a modern dating setting is humorous, it also brings to light an important aspect of content moderation on social platforms: ensuring people are who they say they are. This profile, albeit creative, showcases why #ModerationMatters in the world of online dating.

Ensuring authenticity and accuracy in profiles is crucial for user safety and maintaining the integrity of the platform. While a monarch from the 16th century adds a playful element to swiping, it also underscores the importance of preventing misleading information and maintaining a truthful environment. Initially it might make people laugh, but swiping through one bogus profile after the next quickly gets old, and leads to user attrition.

Moments when content moderation matters

#ModerationMatters When… a Used Car Listing Takes a Playful Turn

Imagine browsing online for a reliable used car and coming across a listing for a “2018 Nissan Altima”, only to be greeted with an image of two cheerful children joyriding a toy vehicle. A cute but misplaced photo in a car listing is more than just a humorous error; it underscores the critical role of precise and contextually appropriate content moderation. In e-commerce, accurate representations are essential to building trust and customer satisfaction with your brand.

While this out-of-place listing might bring a smile, it also highlights why #ModerationMatters. It’s essential not only to filter out inappropriate content but also to ensure that product listings are accurate and relevant.

#ModerationMatters When… Public Polls Sail into Uncharted Waters

#ModerationMatters When… Public Polls Sail into Uncharted Waters

In a memorable example of online voting taking an unexpected turn, the headline ‘Boaty McBoatface tops public vote as name of polar ship’ captured global attention. So much so, in fact, the term “McBoatfacing” is now commonly used to describe instances wherein letting the Internet decide something backfires.

This incident occurred when a scientific organization in the UK, The National Environment Research Council (NERC), invited the public to name their new polar research vessel. The name “Boaty McBoatface” triumphed, showcasing the unpredictable nature of internet humor. And yes, if you were wondering, the will of the people was honored, though ultimately NERC opted to use “Boaty McBoatface” as the name of the small, unmanned submarine the larger polar ship carries. The ship itself was christened the RSS Sir David Attenborough.

This situation exemplifies why #ModerationMatters, especially when engaging the public in decisions through digital platforms. While this outcome was received with amusement worldwide, it underscores a crucial lesson in content moderation for public polls and user-generated content: the need for balancing openness and participation with practical considerations and the potential impact of leaving critical decisions entirely in the hands of an unfiltered public vote.

The Boaty McBoatface incident, while non-offensive, serves as an insightful case study on the importance of having moderation strategies in place to navigate the often unpredictable seas of online public opinion.

#ModerationMatters When… Online Orders Get Too Personal

#ModerationMatters When… Online Orders Get Too Personal

In an eye-opening instance of customer service gone awry, a customer spotted and took a photo of a restaurant ticket with an unsanitary special request: “Please spit in it too.” Captured on the order receipt, this instruction, at best meant as a joke or at worst meant seriously by an unscrupulous employee , highlights the importance of content moderation in online systems, including moderating communications internally, within companies and between employees.

While allowing customers and employees to annotate orders with comments can enhance accuracy and personalize an experience, it also opens doors to potential misuse. This scenario exemplifies why #ModerationMatters, illustrating the essential role of effective content moderation services in safeguarding the quality and integrity of customer interactions in the digital marketplace, not least of all in the food and beverage industry.