Moderation TypesMar 21, 2023

Reactive Moderation
The Pros and Cons

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Melissa Pressler

Copywriter

This blog post is part of a series on the different types of content moderation. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and here, we will specifically discuss reactive moderation. Reactive and proactive moderation are both a type of post-moderation. Follow these links to find information on the other moderation types: pre-moderation, automated moderation, and hybrid moderation.

What is reactive moderation?

Reactive moderation refers to a content moderation approach where moderators respond to user reports or complaints of inappropriate or harmful platform content. The moderator does not proactively monitor content, but relies on the users to flag it. Content is then reviewed and removed if it violates the platform’s policies and guidelines. An example of reactive moderation is if a moderator reviews a piece of content that was flagged by a user to see if it meets your community guidelines.

Pros of reactive moderation

1. Cost-effective

Reactive moderation can be a cost-effective moderation strategy because it only requires resources to be allocated when necessary. Rather than dedicating a large team to moderate content around the clock, reactive moderation relies on user reports to trigger moderation. This can significantly reduce the cost making it more accessible to smaller organizations.

2. Efficient

Reactive moderation can be an efficient strategy because it allows moderators to first prioritize the most concerning and inappropriate content flagged by users.

3. Flexibility

Reactive moderation can be a flexible strategy because it allows moderators to adjust their approach to changing circumstances. This is particularly useful for a new type of content that may cause increasing concern, and an organization must quickly adapt their moderation strategy.

4. Supports free speech

Reactive moderation can support free speech because it allows users to share content without fear of it being censored unnecessarily. Moderators can remove content that violates community standards, but this approach ensures that legitimate content is not removed for no reason.

Cons of reactive moderation

1. Delayed response

Reactive moderation can lead to delayed response times because moderators must wait for users to report content before it is reviewed. This delay can be significant if there are few users to report content or if users do not report content promptly. Delayed response times can allow inappropriate content to remain online for longer than it should.

2. Over-reliance on user reports

Reactive moderation can lead to an over-reliance on user reports because moderators may not be able to identify and moderate content that violates community standards proactively. This over-reliance on user reports can result in inappropriate content remaining online until it is reported, which can damage the reputation of the organization or community.

3. Inconsistent moderation

Reactive moderation can lead to inconsistent moderation because different users may report different types of content, and moderators may not always agree on what constitutes as inappropriate content. This inconsistency can lead to confusion and frustration among users and can damage the reputation of the organization or community.

Conclusion

In this article, we have explored the pros and cons of reactive moderation as a content moderation strategy. While reactive moderation can be cost-effective, efficient, flexible, and supportive of free speech, it also has some drawbacks. Delayed response times, over-reliance on user reports, and inconsistent moderation can all be significant issues when using reactive moderation.

FAQ

1. What is the difference between reactive and proactive moderation?

Reactive moderation involves reacting to content that has been reported or flagged by users, while proactive moderation involves actively searching for and moderating content that violates community standards.

2. What are some of the risks of using reactive moderation?

Some of the risks of using reactive moderation include delayed response times, over-reliance on user reports, and inconsistent moderation. These risks can lead to inappropriate content remaining online for longer than it should, damage to the reputation of the organization or community, and lead to confusion and frustration among users.

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