The internet was built for interaction. This is why the websites that offer the best experiences are by far the most popular. Facebook and Google clearly understand that people don’t just want information when they’re online they want to connect with other people in a meaningful way. In other words they don’t just want to “cruise the internet super highway” they want to “ride around and hang out with friends.”
Even before the long forgotten about site Myspace was launched the original social media platform, “blogging and forums” was alive, well, and thriving (and still is today). However, as the entrepreneurs who launched the successful online sites quickly realized, where there’s a large reward there’s also a substantial risk. The truth is as forums and blogs grow more popular, inevitably they become targets of “internet troublemakers” who are either automated bots or are actual people who seem to enjoy making life difficult for your website visitors. It’s only fitting that the internet chose to brand them, “trolls.”
Ironically, though they won’t admit it most people find some level of amusement from some trolls and their antics. Sometimes their comments can be sarcastic or dry humor which most people can usually tolerate. The problem comes in when the trolls start using profanity, heckling people, and just plain offending everyone.
As an online entrepreneur your failure to take action to correct this will result in the decline and ultimate total loss of your audience. With that said, here’s the top tools to help you manage the discussion:
An automated profanity filter and moderation software for text, image, and video. The company was launched in 2009 by Jonathan Freger who, when asked about ideas of regulating online discussion said he, “doesn’t foresee any government-mandated profanity filters on the Web other than the services like his provide to individual sites…”
Affordable and scalable solution.
Automated software makes moderation easy.
Can be customized into various discussion platforms.
Launched in 2010 by Stephanie Leffler and Ryan Noble the company is a “person based” real time service that offers image, video, comment, and sentiment analysis.
Full service solution with a human element but seems pricey.
Sentiment analysis could be an effective tool to develop content.
Seems like a better fit for more established growing blogs and brands.
Denver, Colorado based enterprise community management software launched in 2007 by Brian Pontarelli. The company also offers human moderation and CleanSpeak, an advanced automation software designed to keep your community free from trolls and malicious users.
The CleanSpeak intelligent profanity software seems very powerful and expensive.
Would be a better fit for large established online communities not so much for emerging blogs and start ups.
In closing, content moderation is one of those problems that bloggers should be happy to have. It shows that you’ve built your online business to a point where it’s so interactive you need a referee. So, if you’re in the market for content moderation solutions you deserve a pat on the back or a round of applause for your accomplishment. For the rest of us let’s keep building until the trolls force us to use content moderation tools to render their attacks futile.
Image Credit: Matteo Paciotti– Flckr