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What Is a Content Moderator? We Interviewed a Pro


    What is a content moderator? Why not ask one? We sat down with Michele Panarosa, Online Content Moderator Level 1 at Besedo, to learn more about a content moderator’s daily work, how to become one, and much more.

    Hi Michele! Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

    My name is Michele Panarosa, I’m 27 years old and I come from Bari, Puglia, Italy. I’ve been an online content moderator for nine months now, formerly an IT technician with a passion for technology and video games. In my spare time, I like to sing and listen to music. I’m a shy person at first, but then I turn into an entertainer because I like to have a happy environment around me. They call me “Diva” for a good reason!

    What is a content moderator?

    A content moderator is responsible for user-generated content submitted to an online platform. The content moderator’s job is to make sure that items are placed in the right category, are free from scams, don’t include any illegal items, and much more.

    How did you become a content moderator?

    I became an online content moderator by training with a specialist during the first weeks of work, but it’s a never-ending learning curve. At first, I was scared of accidentally accepting fraudulent content or not doing my job properly. My teammates, manager, and team leaders were nice and helped me throughout the process. As I kept learning, I started understanding fraud trends and patterns. It helped me spot fraudulent content with ease, and I could with confidence escalate items to second-line moderation agents who made sure they got refused.

    Communication is essential in this case. There were so many items I didn’t even know existed, which was an enriching experience. The world of content moderation is very dynamic, and there are so many interesting things to learn.

    What’s great about working with content moderation?

    The great part of content moderation is the mission behind it. The Internet sometimes could seem like a big and unsafe place where scammers are the rulers. I love this job because I get to make the world a better place by blocking content that’s not supposed to be online.

    It’s a blessing to be part of a mission where I can help others and feel good about what I do. Besides, it makes you feel important and adds that undercover aspect of a 007 agent.

    How do you moderate content accurately and fast?

    Speed and accuracy could be parallel, but you need to be focused and keep your eyes on the important part of a listing. Only a bit of information in a listing can be very revealing and tell you what your next step should be. On top of that, it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest fraud trends so as not to fall into any traps. Some listings and users may appear very innocent, but it’s important to take each listing seriously and it’s always better to slow down a bit before moving on to the next listing.

    What’s the most common type of content you refuse?

    The most common type of items I refuse must be weapons – any kind of weapons. Some users try to make them seem harmless, but they’re not. It’s important to look at the listing images, and if the weapon is not exposed in the image, we’ll simply gather more information about the item. Usually, users who want to sell weapons try to hide them by not using images and being very short in their descriptions (sometimes no description at all).

    As content moderators, it’s our task to collect more details and refuse an item if it turns out to be a weapon, even if it’s a soft-air gun or used for sports.

    What are the most important personal qualities needed to become a good content moderator?

    The most important personal qualities needed to become a good content moderator are patience, integrity, and curiosity.

    • Patience: Moderating content is not always easy and sometimes it can be challenging to maintain a high pace while not jeopardizing accuracy. When faced with factors that might slow you down, it’s necessary to stay patient and not get distracted.
    • Integrity: It’s all about work ethic, and staying true to who you are and what you do. Always remember why you are moderating content, and don’t lose track of the final objective.
    • Curiosity: As a content moderator, you’re guaranteed to stumble onto items you didn’t even know existed. It’s important to stay curious and research the items to ensure they’re in the right category or should be refused – if they don’t meet the platform’s rules and guidelines.

    Summary and main takeaways

    At its core, a content moderator ensures that the content on a given website or service meets the company’s standards and guidelines. This can involve anything from reviewing and removing offensive or inappropriate content to monitoring user behavior and flagging potential rule violations. Content moderators play an important role in keeping online spaces safe and welcoming for all users, and we hope this article has helped you better understand what they do.

    And one last thing…

    Feel free to look at our career page for vacancies if you are interested in a job as a content moderator.

    Michele Panarosa

    Michele Panarosa

    Michele is an Online Content Moderator Level 1 and has been in this role for nine months. He previously worked as an IT technician. Michele is passionate about technology and video games, and in his spare time, he enjoys music, both singing and listening.

    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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