What is the future of content moderation?

The content creation genie has already been let out of the bottle: An influx of voices are contributing to the online conversation, with platforms like Facebook receiving more than a half-million comments every minute with no signs of slowing down. Inevitably, content moderation will remain essential across all digital platforms for the foreseeable future. 

Here’s a look at some of the solutions that will be necessary to power tomorrow’s efforts to moderate online content:


Contextual AI 

At some point, there won’t be enough humans on the planet to review the sheer volume of content being generated. In fact, Accenture estimates that there are currently a whopping 100,000 people moderating content in the world. The only way to take control of the massive influx of user-generated content will be through artificial intelligence (AI). Online platforms are still in the early stages of using AI to moderate effectively, but it will play an increasingly major role in the future of online content.

AI is already being used today to weed out flagged content via comprehensive algorithmic profiles to identify different types of harmful material. Platforms using today’s AI solutions can ensure conversations aren’t being derailed and users aren’t being bullied thanks to content behavioral models that handle the heavy lifting once shouldered by human moderators. 

But we will need to take the AI-enhanced content moderation of tomorrow even further.

Today’s solutions are already quite sophisticated at handling content by accounting for nuance and subtlety. Future solutions will need to be built with a greater comprehension of context and intent for a broader understanding of who, what, and why content was posted.  

Proactive AI

Harmful content spreads like wildfire in carefully coordinated campaigns, demonstrated as recently as late June, when bots magnified an online attack on Senator Kamala Harris. However, we can start to tackle these attacks in a more time-sensitive way by employing AI that’s more dynamic and able to respond in real-time using contextual assessments.

Future content moderators and AI content moderation will create a holistic solution that’s not just contextually aware but also proactive. Enhanced AI capabilities will quickly adapt and respond to sensitive issues in real-time, and build intelligence for flagging troublesome content sources before they are able to spread further.


Healthier human moderation

Future AI capabilities also will transform the jobs of human moderators. Tomorrow’s content moderators will be far more analytical, operating more like real-life actuaries or crime scene investigators who are expertly trained in highly-specific fields. (e.g. Medical, government, etc.)

Moderation tasks that are more specific and expose fewer people to harmful content is a big step forward for the mental health of moderators. Content moderation can inflict significant psychological trauma on human beings. Allowing machines to handle the bulk of content moderation while leaving only specific tasks to highly trained individuals will create an environment that’s more manageable for human oversight.


Conclusion

Trolls, troublemakers, spammers, and anyone else hell-bent on sowing digital discontent aren’t likely to ever be fully eliminated – from the real world or online.

However, these problematic personalities will be recognized + removed with greater speed and accuracy through further digital sophistication and innovations in the world of AI. Reducing the need for human moderators and improving lines of defense via AI will shape a safer and healthier online environment for everyone.