User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to engage your audience and build trust with your brand. It can also give your business a boost in SEO with positive customer reviews and surveys.
Billions of people share text, image and video content online on a daily basis. While this has grown businesses, raised money for charity and brought about political change, it can also cause harm to brands and vulnerable groups.
Inappropriate or harmful content can harm your brand’s reputation.
Any online platform that showcases user-generated content needs a robust moderation process to protect its reputation and users. This can include chat rooms, photo sharing websites, forums, customer review sites, and e-commerce marketplaces.
A failure to moderate UGC can lead to a negative experience for users and harm your brand’s reputation. For example, if an online retailer shows inappropriate or harmful images of its products or fails to respond quickly to reports of user-generated content moderation, it could be accused of insensitivity and lose credibility in the market.
Whether your platform uses automated algorithms or human moderators, it’s important to have clear guidelines for what type of content is allowed on the site and how it should be handled. For instance, an expletive in a film review might be acceptable to some people but offensive to others, depending on context and intent. A well-defined UGC policy can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the first place.
It can lead to negative user experience.
UGC is images, video, or text that is created by your customers, employees, fans, or ambassadors and posted on a company website or social media account. Some examples of this content include product reviews, community forums, customer photos, and even blog posts.
While relinquishing control of a community to the people who use it can be beneficial, companies must be prepared for negative content to appear on their sites as well. And without the right moderation processes in place, this can have a negative impact on users.
The most common moderation method involves reactive moderation, which allows community members to flag content they believe is inappropriate through a reporting button. This method can be time-consuming and doesn’t always catch harmful content, so companies must be prepared to regularly monitor their communities. However, pre-moderation is an alternative that ensures inappropriate or harmful content doesn’t make it to the site by requiring all content to be approved by a team of professionals before it goes live.
It can be time-consuming.
UGC moderation can be done manually or automatically, with human moderators and software tools. The automated options are often more cost-effective but have their own limitations. For example, they may miss important context like intent and cultural nuances. They are also prone to false positives (flagging content that shouldn’t be flagged) and false negatives (allowing inappropriate content through).
The key is to find a balance between speed and quality. You want to post quickly so that your marketing campaigns and customer engagements can happen in real-time, but you also need to be able to remove harmful content fast.
For some businesses, the best solution is to use pre-moderation so that all content is reviewed before it can go live. This can be time-consuming as the team needs to go through everything and may miss some things, but it can also save a company from legal ramifications and reputation damage. At WebPurify, we use a hybrid approach of AI and live moderators to quickly review and scrub UGC, so it can be posted in real-time.
It can be expensive.
Billions of people share text, image and video content online daily. This has helped grow businesses, raise money for charity and bring about political change. But it has also created an enormous amount of digital garbage. This includes obscene or offensive content, terror propaganda, abuse, child nudity exposure and more.
Having the right UGC moderation strategy in place will help you protect your brand’s reputation, ensure customer security and prevent risk to your business. It will also strengthen user engagement and shape your brand identity.
However, UGC moderation can be expensive. Depending on the platform, you might require an in-house team of human moderators or a third-party UGC moderation solution provider. The latter provides a more cost-effective solution by leveraging AI to scan content before it goes live. This reduces the number of items that need to be reviewed by humans and saves time and resources. It can also improve workflow by flagging items for review based on priority.