Is There a Place for Human Comment Moderation in an Automated World?

comment moderation

Machine learning, artificial intelligent assistants, algorithms… the new frontier of automated tools and tech is making it easier than ever to streamline our work. Moderating your comments section is no different, with many platforms offering tools to help automate the task so you can focus your attention on other matters.

In this increasingly automated world, is there even a role for the human comment moderator? First, let’s delve into the pros and cons of comment moderation software. Thanks to automatic moderating, you can ensure a safe space for your community to discuss your brand free from profanity, abuse and spam, without having to keep a constant eye on the community. And it’s likely that your platform of choice already offers some sort of moderation software to achieve this, which only adds to the convenience.

Unfortunately, automated moderation  isn’t magic—it needs some element of oversight, like generating and revising blacklists so it knows what to consider spam or abusive behavior. And this keyword blocklists aren’t foolproof, either; for example, spammers are great at bypassing filters using irregular spelling or spacing, which Facebook’s blocklist isn’t sophisticated enough to catch. Keyword blocks can cause a mess on bilingual pages as well, since a word in one language can mean something completely different than another.

Your human moderators, meanwhile, are well-versed in your community’s policies, and they can—and should—respond to customers’ and fans’ grievances or issues as they arise. Unlike an algorithm, they’re able to answer queries and explain any issues that arise within the comments. Good moderators can even kick off discussion and keep the conversation on-topic by prompting readers with questions and calls-to-action, much like a moderator in a debate would.

Unfortunately, human comment moderators may have a higher risk of depression due to having to sift through troubling, abusive and traumatic language and content. This is where the balance between human and automated comment moderation is key: with algorithmic tools, you can instantly erase and block such troubling comments so your readers—and your employees—can get straight to the fun stuff: having awesome discussions focused on your brand in a safe environment!

While we’ve mentioned some shortcomings of comment moderation software above, the industry is always improving. Smart Moderation, for example, uses artificial intelligence to adapt to your needs; you don’t need to struggle with updating blacklists, because Smart Moderation can read the context of a comment and recognize profane language, spam, bullying and more.

While it is automated—which means 24/7 comment policing without your having to lift a finger or risk mental health—the software functions more like a human assistant than a rote machine. If it makes a mistake, you simply let it know and it’ll learn from it. You can try Smart Moderation for free to see how it works, and why not? It could help you strike that human-automation balance your content marketing team has been looking for!