It's a great paradox that a rapidly shrinking connected world (thanks to the Internet) also grows more polarized. Communication, information exchange, and news dissemination are faster than ever. Unfortunately, our progress has come at the high cost of exposing online users to toxic and polarized content propagated via ready platforms filled with disinformation and misleading communication. Online security becomes a hoax as these target vulnerable communities while inciting a sense of mob mentality on a large scale.
According to a report from YouTube1, the top 5 categories for content policy violations are:
- Spam, misleading content
- Nudity or sexual content
- Child safety
- Hateful or abusive content
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) systems, including Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms, are the force behind most content policy enforcement. And they sift through, flag, and remove millions of User Generated Content (UGC) violations. However, human content moderators are still required to fill gaps in these machine-led, automated screening and enforcement systems. Now, more than ever, humans must act as gatekeepers for User Generated Content (UGC) that violates online trust and safety policies. The content moderation industry is estimated to spend more than $5 billion annually to ensure users have a safe browsing and online experience. As per estimates by Transparency Market Research2, the overall spend is expected to increase exponentially to $11.8 billion by 2027.
The role of communities in content moderation:
Is spending a great deal on content moderation enough to address the social issues and repercussions of harmful content? No. In reality, we need to raise awareness surrounding these societal challenges and approach them from a basic level, like how we address environmental challenges caused by pollution. We must make content moderation a more community-wide effort and bring it under Distributed Content Moderation.
The cognitive toll moderation takes on one’s mental well-being is captured skillfully in the movie – The Cleaners3 – a must-watch for the uninitiated. It focuses on these invisible soldiers who subject themselves to horrifying content daily to maintain online safety. Though a small, effective percentage of volunteers and NGOs have led the charge in providing the necessary support, we believe our community users must do more. Starting early in our schools and colleges is one of the most effective ways of bringing about change. At HCLTech, we strongly advocate for a community-wide effort to educate and inform our youth first, as they are the torchbearers of a better tomorrow. Hence, it is critical that we develop online courses and programs with incentives—for raising awareness in educational institutions and fostering community champions to lead the cause.
How can HCLTech work as the catalyst?
We provide content moderation services and robust platforms for training, program certifications, and awareness-raising capabilities. Through our dynamic engagement activities with the youth, women's groups, and minority communities, we hope to uphold online trust and nurture a more diverse and inclusive environment.
While onboarding new employees, we provide courses and certification programs to ensure a more inclusive, polite, aware, and empowered workforce. After all, a company's culture is a great vehicle for fostering empathy and inclusivity that serve as the pillars of a safe and protected cyber environment. Our growing presence in over 150 countries and services in over 48 languages make us an unparalleled hub for being a change agent in encouraging and building secure online communities!
- YouTube, (n.d.). YouTube Community Guidelines enforcement. Retrieved from. https://transparencyreport.google.com/youtube-policy/removals?hl=en
- PRNewswire. (2020, March 04). Content Moderation Solutions Market to Reach US$ 11.80 Bn by 2027; Synergy of AI and Human Moderation to Unlock Higher Value: Transparency Market Research. [Press release]. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/content-moderation-solutions-market-to-reach-us-11-80-bn-by-2027-synergy-of-ai-and-human-moderation-to-unlock-higher-value-transparency-market-research-301016269.html
- Bishop, R. (2018, January 21). The Cleaners is a riveting documentary about how social media might be ruining the world. The Verge. Retrieved from. https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/21/16916380/sundance-2018-the-cleaners-movie-review-facebook-google-twitter