From family photos to funny pictures, the internet contains a constant stream of content. Users may not think twice about it, but managing such content actually takes a lot of work. Businesses on the receiving end of content find themselves in dire need of an emerging service: image moderation.
Without image moderation, communities can quickly become overrun with inappropriate and irrelevant imagery. Of course, image moderation can be costly. For companies looking to save money, outsourcing overseas might be the solution.
What Is Image Moderation?
Image moderation is a type of content moderation focused on imagery. This can include photographs, internet memes, any other form of still picture. Animated gifs can also get classified as images for moderation purposes.
The intention of image moderation is generally the same as any other type of content moderation. That is, the purpose is to keep irrelevant and inappropriate imagery off of a website. If you sign up for image moderation services, there are many places where it may apply.
If you operate a forum, for instance, image moderation can ensure that no user is able to post images that go against the site’s guidelines. If you operate a membership site, image moderation might apply to profile images as well as the posts users make.
Likewise, if you allow users to make guest posts on your blog, image moderation will check any pictures a person may include in their post. Image moderation can also apply to websites dedicated to photo sharing and hosting.
The fact is, no matter how frequently you think users will upload images to your website, if you allow the upload of images, you should invest in image moderation services. Without them, there could be some serious consequences for your brand and your business.
The Risks of Unmonitored Content
There are many other consequences that can happen to a website where image moderation is lacking.
- Negative Brand Image: Whether or not your guidelines allow inappropriate content, it only takes a few posts for users to begin to have a more negative view of your brand. Ultimately, users feel it is your responsibility to keep the community safe and clean. Failure to do so can drive away users from your website and brand for the long term.
- Defamatory Content Claims: One of the major causes of legal action against websites is defamatory content. Some businesses make the mistake of thinking that, since their users posted it, they are not responsible for it. In reality, it’s more the other way around. If you allow content to get published and hosted on your site, it’s ultimately your responsibility. This includes remarks and allegations made by users against people (especially celebrities). Users sharing leaked images and even doctored photos can lead to such claims.
- Poor Community Environment: Even less serious violations of your community’s guidelines can have a significant impact on your community and brand. For instance, users participating in hate speech and cyberbullying can drive away good community members and completely derail discussions. This links back to a negative brand image and poor engagement across the board. Users shouldn’t fear a personal attack just for participating in a conversation.
Failing to properly moderate the content that users post on your website could lead to significant negative impacts on your brand and company. That is why investing in content moderation of all kinds is important to protect your business.
First and foremost, the No. 1 risk of not moderating content is allowing images to get through that go against your brand’s image. These images may not be illicit, but they can still harm the reputation of your brand and community. In turn, they can lead to your audience leaving the community.
Examples include user contributions that are off-topic and perhaps even inappropriate. While every community ultimately gets to set its own guidelines, most brands do not want nudity or any form of suggestive content associated with them. Only proper image moderation services will allow you to keep it off the site entirely. Leaving it up to users’ discretion will only result in an influx of such content.
The second major reason why you want to invest in image moderation is much more serious. Without image moderation, your community could become the target of a number of graphic (and even illegal) images. From internet trolls looking to start trouble to attacks that could result in legal action against your company, more serious imagery is more than deserving of adequate moderation practices.
The worst case scenario that every business looks to avoid is having such imagery drive away community members, negatively impact the brand, and even threaten the business’s interests. Again, image moderation is the only way to keep any type of imagery that you do not want associated with your brand off of the website.
The Backend of Image Moderation
It’s easy to establish the need for image moderation, but it’s a bit more difficult to get it actually up and running.
Set Up a Team
The backend of image moderation will utilise a team of multiple people. This is important because trying to have just one person manage your entire community will only lead to significant delays.
If users find that it takes hours (or even days) for their content to go live after posting, it will decrease community engagement massively. This is why you should invest in a team of multiple individuals to get posts moderated quickly. The number of people you put onto your content moderation team should depend on the number of users your website has and how many images get posted each day.
As time goes on, this team-based approach will keep everything scalable to fit the needs of your community. So, if you end up getting a thousand new users next week, your team can easily add a new member to keep the image moderation process running smoothly.
In order to make image moderation an easy process for you, we will work with your brand to lay out a full set of community guidelines. Every image will get checked against these guidelines before going live. This allows your moderators to effectively filter not only inappropriate content, but also any content that you don’t feel will match your brand’s image.
Guidelines can range from five lines to a full page depending on your community’s niche and strictness. Some websites, for example, allow any form of engagement as long as the interaction is appropriate and authentic (i.e., cannot classify as graphic, spam, or trolling). Other websites wish to keep everything completely on-topic and will not allow any discussion to deviate from the topic at hand, even if the user’s contribution fits all other guidelines.
For many brands, it’s important that user contributions uphold a certain tone. For example, you may operate a professional community forum aimed at businesses. In this case, you might want to keep everyone on the topic of business at all times. You might also have specific guidelines in place, limiting things that could get labelled as “unprofessional” such as memes, animated gifs, and so on.
It is up to your brand when it comes to how strict you want your guidelines to be. Our moderators are willing and able to adapt their moderation standards to fit the specific needs of your website.
Take a Hands-Off Approach
The team will work on your website using a tool that captures images before they go live. This allows the team members to individually review each image and decide if it meets your community’s guidelines or not.
If you hire your team through Taskeater, we will manage your team for you so that you don’t have to lift a finger. This makes image moderation a very hands-off process for your business. It will run in the background while you can focus on the things that deserve your attention.
Why Outsourcing Image Moderation Is the Solution
Trying to manage image moderation in-house will only lead to delays that can drive away users and negatively impact your company’s efficiency. At Taskeater, we specialise in image moderation services. This means that your brand will get to utilise a team of experienced moderators for a fraction of the cost of doing it in-house.
When you outsource, you will get a team of moderators who are fully trained in all aspects of image moderation. This team is fully managed, meaning that your business will not have to dedicate in-house resources to making sure that image moderation gets handled correctly.
We will use our own knowledge and expertise to keep your community on track with minimal involvement required on your part. Here’s a look at all of the benefits of outsourcing image moderation for your community.
The cost of setting up image moderation in house is immense. Your business simply does not have the available resources to handle it in a timely manner. If you try to do so on your own, your users will face serious delays in their content going live. That will lead to decreased engagement and an unhappy community. Meanwhile, your business will struggle on the backend to keep up with users’ posts.
By outsourcing to Taskeater, the entire image moderation process will prove incredibly efficient and cost-effective. You will only pay for moderators when you need them, and moderators can get added (or removed) from your team as your content needs change with time.
Consistency is key to successful branding, and that’s why you have to take a consistent approach to your community’s moderation. If some users’ posts get approved while others get denied and they are all very similar, users will end up confused on what’s allowed. Some may feel censored and silenced while others enjoy their content slipping through the cracks.
When you leave image moderation up to the team at Taskeater, you can ensure incredible accuracy and consistency. We will setup a fully managed team of moderators on your behalf who will keep your brand’s guidelines top of mind as they manage every image that gets added by your community’s members.
With the speed and accuracy that Taskeater’s image moderators can work, your community’s users will hardly notice the moderation taking place. At the same time, they will be able to enjoy timely discussions with other users as they participate on your platform and contribute to your highly engaged community.
Protect Your Brand Image With Image Moderation
Image moderation is a necessary investment. It is responsible for keeping your community safe, on-topic, and welcoming to all. Without it, your brand could face an overload of spam, irrelevant discussions, and even content that leads to legal matters. The increased engagement that accompanies effective image moderation will pay for itself in no time at all.
Start protecting your brand’s image today as you allow your community members to enjoy the addition of vibrant imagery to their posts. Click here to learn more about what Taskeater can do for your business.