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Building Efficient and Successful Content Moderation Teams


    Manual content moderation isn’t rocket science. Take away the bad stuff and leave the good. Right? Well, let’s look at how you build a successful content moderation team – one that is successful and delivers on its promise.

    For very basic moderation, sure, but the truth is that as soon as you reach any significant volume on the site, moderation becomes much more complex. To handle the complexity professionally, you will need a well-organized team of moderators. To build that, you must know the best practices for running an efficient moderation team.

    We have dedicated other articles to talking about KPIs and content moderation methods. Still, once you have decided on the goals and methods, you need to look at your delivery framework to ensure that your team has the optimal conditions to consistently and efficiently carry out quality work.

    Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

    Set up a communication procedure to ensure new policies and site decisions are communicated to your moderation agents as quickly as possible. When agents are in doubt, they will lose precious time debating or speculating on what to do with new issues.

    This will also cause mistakes to be made.

    Put in place a process for communicating new policies. Ensure that someone is responsible for collecting, answering, and communicating answers to questions from the content moderation team.

    Also, make sure someone in your organization is on top of current events that might pose new challenges.


    Setting up a structure for a communication flow between the content moderation team and the rest of your organization is key to enabling your moderators to work at their top speed and to feel equipped to do their job properly.

    When we at Besedo provide a client with a team of moderators, we start by setting up a clear framework for how questions from the agent on one side and answers and new directions from the client on the other side are communicated.

    Usually, the structure will consist of the following:

    • A quarterly meeting – Any adjustments to current guidelines or new focuses for the client business strategy are discussed. This allows the moderation team to give input on where and how their efforts are best applied to accommodate the client’s long-term vision.
    • A monthly meeting – Where our client informs about upcoming policy changes and new features.
    • A weekly meeting – Where both parties raise current issues and challenges. This is a great place to discuss any errors made and request clarification on any policies that seem to cause a lot of grey areas.
    • Daily contact to sync up – This is usually not a meeting but rather an ongoing conversation between a point of contact on the client side and one on Besedo’s side. This allows the moderation team to quickly receive answers and communicate new challenges that may pop up during the day. In this case, the key to success is having one point of contact on each side where all communication can be channeled.

    After each meeting, the communication will be emailed and cascaded to the team through team leaders or veteran agents, ensuring that all content moderators, regardless of the shift, are made aware.

    Treat content moderators like pro athletes

    They need ongoing training to stay on top.

    One hour spent training can save many more long term. It’s easy to think that content moderation is straightforward, but it takes time, knowledge, and experience to spot bad content in seconds when reviewing hundreds of ads an hour.

    While it can be tempting to throw people headfirst into the moderation job (especially if you are short on staff), it almost always pays to spend time equipping your moderator. You will have fewer mistakes, better speed, and a happier new colleague.

    How we do at Besedo

    When we employ new content moderators to Besedo, we pass them through a very in-depth onboarding program. We introduce them to the clients’ rules and platforms and teach them about content moderation in general, the trends, the tools of the trade, and the reasons behind moderating.

    But we don’t stop there. We have ongoing training, workshops, and knowledge-sharing forums. The industry is not static. Laws change, and scams are always evolving. This means our moderation team needs to improve and keep up with current trends constantly. And so should yours!

    ROI on content moderation

    When we speak to owners of websites and apps that deal with user-generated content, one of our concerns is that they have not seen the expected ROI from moderation in the past.

    Digging into their previous experience, we often see that while they have had moderation efforts, they have not dedicated time and resources to structure and maintain it.

    We cannot stress enough how important it is to set up processes, training, and retraining for your moderation team. Without it, they will work in the dark, catching some things but leaving too much else untouched. This approach will be more harmful than no content moderation.

    It will require a lot of work, resources, and attention if you want to see proper ROI from moderation. Sit down, plan, structure, implement and keep iterating. 

    It isn’t going to happen by itself. Crazy huh?

    This is Besedo

    Global, full-service leader in content moderation

    We provide automated and manual moderation for online marketplaces, online dating, sharing economy, gaming, communities and social media.

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