Content Moderation - in Social Media and Real Time… | ...Gasp!

Content Moderation

in Social Media and Real Time Marketing

So, some rogue called Valentine Feralcleave, who is amongst your Facebook “friends,” although you have never actually met, and you don’t really know how you are acquainted, tries to post something extremely awful onto your news feed during the early hours of Saturday morning. Thankfully, it never goes live and public.

It is a grim irony that, as technology is making our lives easier and we lament the loss of jobs to technology and “robots,” that we have managed to find a job for humans, beyond the scope of technology, which is so undesirable.

You may think that this was down to Facebook’s security settings/filters and other wondrous IT wizardry. But most likely you were saved from an awkward and embarrassing situation from one of these poor souls.

These people, in addition to protecting your eyes and mind, are essentially concerned with protecting the huge social media brands. If Twitter had a reputation of being awash with appalling videos and photos, then clearly its reputation would be seriously compromised. Keeping the product clean is important. But at what cost?

It is a grim irony that, as technology is making our lives easier and we lament the loss of jobs to technology and “robots,” that we have managed to find a job for humans, beyond the scope of technology, which is so undesirable.

Why don’t we have machines/systems doing this? Unfortunately this task requires AI far beyond what we have today. We do not have powerful enough artificial neural networks to distinguish between the images. No algorithm can yet do the job. Microsoft has developed PhotoDNA, a kind of digital fingerprinting of images that can make them easier to remove in bulk, but for now people will have to be involved in this process. Clearly, the important thing is managing how many have to do it, and the training and support they get for their mental health. It appears that this may be lacking in certain quarters.

Decent, effective content control in social media is something big corporates are also still trying to perfect. It must be an increasing fear of companies for something to get posted that is well off brand, never mind being well off humanity.

For the sake of balanced argument, and a little light relief, it should be stated that having no content control over morons can have a positive effect, as evidenced by James Arthur losing a record deal, and thus the medium to inflict his wailing albumage on our ear canals, due to his regular mouthing off on Twitter.

Here be a few pointers so you don’t do an “Arthur:”

1) You certainly need to have someone who is clued up and on brand to oversee output. Chrysler had an infamous episode where an employee of their now fired marketing agency tweeted from their official account, mistakenly thinking he was logged into his own personal account. He offered his expletive-filled opinion on the driving abilities of the people of Detroit, at a time when Chrysler was running a celebratory campaign on the very same city. Ouch.

2) However, you have to have flexibility and speed of action. You cannot have an elongated process of signing off output, as you will forever be missing the trend boat. That was like, soooo 4 hours ago. Regulated spontaneity is what’s needed.

3) Using a social media management system such as Hootsuite helps you to schedule tweets, which therefore allows for a gestation period, whilst still pinging off output in a regular, timely manner.

4) Despite being well organised, there is always the chance of human error. If this ever happens, you have to know how to deal with a stupidity leak. Take a look at these tips.

But it is worth pursuing thoroughly, for the potential rewards for good real-time marketing are great. Oreo’s famous Super Bowl 2013 tweet arguably heralded the opening of the real-time floodgates. In what must almost be the antithesis of those teams that police extreme content in Manila and elsewhere, here was a team set up to react to real-time occurrences with quick wit, creativity and artistic flair.

We at Gasp are no strangers to this phenomenon. We took part in this real-time marketing challenge at The Drum Live recently, which was fun and we proved to be quite good at it too. Please feel free to have a nose at what we got up to.

*This blog was personally content controlled by Giles Edwards, who is currently having a cup of tea and recovering after having to remove some appallingly florid, self-gratifying and almost onanistic syntax from the author, which you have been thankfully saved from.

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