Video games are a great escape from reality, allowing people to find solace in an imaginary world. But what about the nasty side of gaming, when bullying or grooming occurs?

Gaming has changed drastically over the last decade. For example, back in the mid-2000s, a player could just start a new game and go off on their own for as long as they wanted. If they wanted to talk to other people online, there were IRC channels or message boards to find others with similar interests. But today? Today it’s more common than not with in-game messaging, and we have instant messaging apps like Discord and voice chat apps such as TeamSpeak, Mumble, and Element.

Why Is Content Moderation Important?

Content moderation is important for many reasons. It helps keep your gaming platform safe by ensuring that only appropriate content is shared. Additionally, it can enhance the user experience by making sure that users are only seeing content that is relevant and interesting to them. Ultimately, content moderation helps create a positive and enjoyable experience for all gaming platform users.

All types of content should be moderated. This includes but is not limited to video, text, and images. Content moderation will include identifying inappropriate content, such as nudity, hate speech, and illegal activity.

It all boils down to giving everyone the best possible user experience.

Grooming in games starts with a simple question from another player, such as “are you home alone?”

What are the advantages of a solid moderation program? A solid moderation program can help protect your gaming platform from banning trends that can disrupt your customer base, diminish customer trust in your company/product, and protect you from potential lawsuits by both users and third parties.

Bullying and Grooming in Online Gaming

There are many ways that bullying and grooming can happen on online gaming platforms. These can include:

Grooming in games starts with a simple question from another player, such as “are you home alone?”

Content moderation is the best way to combat these issues and keep your gaming platform safe. By moderating user-generated content, you can remove offensive material, stop trolls and bullies from ruining the experience for everyone, and create a safe and welcoming environment for all players.

What Are the Effects of Bullying/Grooming in Online Gaming?

While many established gaming platforms have some form of content moderation to protect users from inappropriate or harmful content. However, left unattended, your game will risk becoming a breeding ground for bullying and grooming. Suffice to say, this will harm the victim’s self-esteem and mental health, most likely causing them more harm than missing out on gaming.

Victims of bullying and grooming will, and rightfully so, speak to others about their experiences. Once the word is spreading about these user experiences, well, you can stick a fork in your game’s reputation. Gamers will speak out in reviews, subreddits, and social media, leaving you facing an incredible uphill battle to save your platform’s credibility and reputation.

Keep your users safe and engaged with the game.

Imagine starting every morning by reviewing a few hundred NSFW images. After your first cup of coffee, you have some grooming to review and possible CSAM activity to talk to the police about.

Sounds awful.

Set yourself up to focus on game development rather than spending endless hours reviewing inappropriate behavior.

Content Moderation to Prevent Abuse in Gaming

In-app messaging and chats need supervision and moderation to be safe. That means that if you’re running a gaming platform, you need to have someone monitoring the conversations that take place within it. This will help keep things safe for all users, and it will also enhance the user experience by ensuring that people can communicate without being harassed or subjected to inappropriate content.

Not to toot our own horn, but companies like ourselves review and approve content before it is made public. While this sound like it might be a slow process, it actually happens with just milliseconds of latency, meaning people are unlikely to even notice. 

Suppose a user abuses an in-game messaging app. In that case, technology like Besedo’s will ensure others don’t get a chance to see the offensive messages or images being sent. Real-time moderation for profanity or nudity will ensure that we can keep chats clean and civilized.

That way, Besedo also works to keep the app user-friendly and respectful by enforcing the app’s terms of use. If you’re into podcasts, we highly recommend episode 120, called ‘Voulnet,’ of Darknet Diaries.

Conclusion

Content moderation is a vital step in keeping your gaming platform safe and user-friendly. By taking the time to review and approve all content before it goes live, you can avoid potential problems down the road.

Not only will this save you time and money, but it will also improve the overall quality of your user experience. So if you’re looking for a way to keep your gaming platform safe and improve your user experience, content moderation is the answer.

A good website loads fast, boasts a beautiful design, is search engine friendly and offers a brilliant user experience design. In fact, having a website with a poor design could make users feel like your brand is of poor quality or untrustworthy.

*record scratch*

But if you peel off that top layer of design elements – what is a user experience, really? 

Nielsen Norman Group probably says it best that “user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

All your design efforts will come up short if your website, or app, is not supporting your users’ goals. To most business owners, these goals are so fundamental that they risk being forgotten when you’re focused on all aspects of your business. With user-generated content platforms such as dating apps, marketplaces, video streaming, etc., you’re essentially handing over a massive chunk of your user experience to your community.

Consider this: You are interested in buying a bike, so you hop on your favorite marketplace app and search for bikes. The search result shows hundreds of postings near you. Great! The only thing is; first, you must wade through 4 pages of inappropriate images, scams, and harassment.

Two apps showing content with and without content moderation
Moderated content is a big part of creating a great user experience

To quote Donald Miller, “a caveman should be able to glance at it and immediately grunt back what you offer.” This is referred to as the Grunt Test; it’s a real thing.

Many marketing reports show poor design decisions are culprits why customers may leave your site. That’s a given. One report says that 88% of online consumers are unlikely to return to a website after a poor experience.

With user-generated content platforms you’re essentially handing over a massive chunk of your user experience to your community.

Most likely are those numbers closer to 99% should we remove content moderation from the user experience equation.

The User Experience Honeycomb

At the core of UX is ensuring that users find value in what you provide. Peter Morville presents this magnificent through his User Experience Honeycomb. 

The user experience honeycomb as presented by semanticstudios.com

One of the 7 facets of his honeycomb is “credible,” as Morville notes that for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:

Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them.

So what if your information and content are user-generated? Then you aren’t the one providing the credibility.

User Experience in user-generated content

We would argue that Credible (or Trust) serves best as the base for your user experience when it comes to user-generated content apps and websites. After all, the user experience is more than just something intuitive to use.

When User Experience Fails Despite Good Design

Few things will hurt your users’ confidence in your app faster than harassment or irrelevant content. In-game chats and, to some extent, dating apps are breeding grounds for trolling. Flame wars can create an unfriendly online environment, making other users feel compelled to respond to abusers or leave your platform entirely. 

Harassment still happens, and no one is immune, despite your platform’s fantastic design.

The emphasis on trust and credibility can not be overstated when your platform relies on user-generated content.

Online reviews and comments from social media are the new word-of-mouth advertisement. With a growing pool of information available online to more consumers, this form of content could either become an effective branding tool or the undoing of branding. Even if the content does not appeal to children, they may still flag it on the site or tell an adult they trust.

Trust user reviews, images, and videos

Suppose handing over a big part of your customers’ user experience to largely unknown users feels like a scary ordeal. In that case, you’re in for a rollercoaster regarding reviews.

Fake online reviews are more prevalent than you might think and could lead you to purchase a product you would not have otherwise. Fake customer reviews are usually glowing, even over-the-top, reading more like infomercials than reviews. One MIT study found that fake reviews typically contained more exclamation points than genuine reviews. Fake reviewers believe that by adding these marks, they’ll emphasize the negative emotions behind their feedback. 

Conversely, it is not uncommon for sellers to purchase fake, one-star reviews to flood competitors’ pages.

According to research, 91% of people read online reviews regularly or occasionally, and 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Building trust into the user journey

Your online business aims to attract, retain, or engage users; creating an experience that turns them off is definitely not a smart step in this direction. It should be kept in mind that users should have an accessible and user-friendly experience when going on this journey with you. We even published a webinar about building trust into a user journey if you’re interested.