Back in June 2013, training company Moderation Gateway launched the first certified training course for user generated content (UGC) moderation. Moderation Gateway is a member of The Internet Watch Foundation, which recognises the foundation course as a vital step in setting a new industry standard for best practice in moderation.
Moderation Gateway consulted eModeration’s experienced production and moderation team for advice on developing the content for the virtual course. The training includes audio and video modules on different types of moderation, relevant EU and US legislation, escalation best practice and child safety online.
Five months on, many new and experienced UGC moderators have now achieved Moderation Gateway certification. They include independent students – many of whom are multilingual – but also teams from companies such as eModeration, Mind Candy and Quiip. Two of eModeration’s own moderators share their experience of the course.
Melanie Burnside is an experienced moderator and community manager, who was part of AOL’s pioneering Guide team back in the 1990s. At eModeration she has worked for a range of clients including LEGO, MTV and a major FMCG brand, using a combination of scan and queue moderation techniques. She was prompted to take the course as a way to validate her existing skills.
“While moderation is obviously about operating within guidelines, and an eye for detail, a large part is also about gut instinct and a feel for whether something is wrong. Language evolves, but the fundamental principles remain the same, and I was happy that my instincts proved correct,” she said.
Mel liked the fact that the training was self-paced, but focused on completing the course in two three-hour sessions over two days, so the previous day’s’ topics were still fresh in her mind.
She noted that some students had made use of the online forum, posting questions about certain topics to support them completing an individual module successfully.
Mel felt that one of the most useful aspects of the course was having a library of relevant research and resources in one place. eModeration sends out regular updates to its moderation team about relevant changes to regulation, legislation and platforms. Not all moderators have access to similar resources, however, so this is a quick and easy way for new and experienced moderators to stay on top of industry changes.
Mel also found the child protection module interesting. As her previous experience has focused mainly on moderating content for adult audiences, it enabled her to look at content from a different angle, particularly the subtle ways in which children and young adults can be manipulated online.
She said, “The course also helped me as a parent. It armed me with additional information as to what to watch out for online and how to ensure my tech-savvy kids stay safe.”
The course armed me with additional information as to what to watch out for online and how to ensure my tech-savvy kids stay safe.
Like Mel, Jan is an experienced moderator, who has spent over 10 years reviewing UGC formats ranging from video to Facebook and everything in-between. She is a specialist in moderating content aimed at children and teens and works for one of our major gaming clients.
Jan would have found a foundation course useful when she first started moderating.
She said, “The guidance on the formal internet safety bodies such as Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP) was excellent. The videos in each of the modules were useful in highlighting exactly why there is a need for robust moderation and education about internet use.”
Both Mel and Jan feel that the training would be a great starting point for new and junior moderators who need to understand the thought process behind assessing comments for publication, as often it is not just a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision.
The two moderators also agreed that the moderation industry could benefit from seeing intermediate and advanced moderation training courses.
Lisa Craven, founder of Moderation Gateway, said: “We are delighted with the response to the training since our launch, and that both new and experienced moderators have found it invaluable. In particular, our corporate clients are happy to be able offer a professional moderation qualification to their in-house teams. As the Moderation Gateway course costs significantly less than traditional training, it appeals to large and small companies, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).”
She added, “As more students qualify, we hope to see certification become a ‘must-have’ training standard for the digital industry, and maybe even develop in to an NVQ.”
You can find out more about Moderation Gateway’s moderation training course here. You can also watch Richard Simcott, one of our multilingual Production Managers, talking to Lisa Craven about how Moderation Gateway’s course can help foreign language speakers and home-workers train as professional moderators.