Live Chat Moderation Guide

Live Chat Moderation

Interactions have moved online, and people now have the ability to interact as users, share content, write comments, and voice their opinions online. This revolution in the way people interact has led to the rise of many businesses that use live chat conversations and text content as one of their main components. Let’s take, for example, the rise of social media. From Facebook to TikTok, all social media platforms are built on the fact that users will be able to create and share content, which could be in the form of images, comments, and more.

Even though live chats are a great medium for users to interact and share content, not only in social media but also in streaming, dating, gaming, marketplaces, and others, they can quickly turn into an online wild west. Platforms that don’t use live chat moderation tools and strategies will see a negative impact on their community and users. Spam, harassment, fraud, profanity, misinformation, hate speech, and bullying, to name a few, are just a few of the problems that come with a growing user base.

In order to better understand these issues, this article delves into the intricacies of live chat moderation. Subsequently, it works as a guide for businesses to have the necessary understanding to deal with them. This piece of writing goes over in-depth insights, detailed methods, best practices, potential drawbacks, and a thorough examination of Checkstep’s live chat moderation features.

Overview of Chat Content Moderation

Chat Content Moderation: Definition

At its core, chat content moderation is the process of overseeing and managing conversations within live chat platforms. In addition, its main objectives are to uphold community standards, prevent abuse, and cultivate a positive user experience. In order to achieve these goals, some of its techniques involve the continuous review of messages, the identification of inappropriate content, and the implementation of appropriate actions such as issuing warnings, removing content, or escalating issues as necessary. As a result, any live chat can remain a functional and collaborative medium of interaction.

If you’d like to learn more about text, audio, and video moderation, feel free to check out our Content Moderation Guide.

Types of Chat Content that Require Moderation

To effectively moderate live chat content, it’s crucial to identify the various types of content that may require intervention:

1. Offensive language or hate speech:

Ensuring that conversations remain respectful and free from discriminatory language is crucial for maintaining positive and collaborative user behaviour.

2. Inappropriate or explicit content

Preventing the sharing of content that violates company policies or is not suitable for a professional setting will keep the platform a safe place for users of all age ranges.

3. Spam or promotional messages

Avoiding the spread of unwanted content is essential to preserving the integrity of the chat and the attention of users.

4. Personal attacks or harassment

Quickly addressing personal attacks and harassment can help prevent the community from turning into a verbal boxing ring.

5. Misinformation or fake news

Fact-checking and making sure that the information shared is trustworthy and accurate will improve the platform’s reputation.

Chat Moderators

Devoted chat moderators are the foundation of an effective live chat system. Their work in keeping the community rules in place and reacting quickly to user complaints or infractions is crucial. For this reason, an effective chat moderator needs to be well-versed in business policy, have excellent communication skills, and pay close attention to detail. However, because of the repeated exposure to negative content such as abusive comments, explicit images, violence, and more, being a chat moderator can be exceptionally mentally taxing, as highlighted in this paper from the TSPA association titled “The Psychological Well-Being of Content Moderators”.

Because of this, live chat moderation strategies and all content moderation heavily make use of automation and AI tools. This system can identify text that infringes on the company’s guidelines and act upon that information without human supervision. If you’d like to learn more, check out our article titled “Content Moderators: How to Protect Their Mental Health?”.

Methods & Best Practices

How Live Chat Content Moderation Works

Live chat content moderation typically employs a combination of automated tools and human oversight. Firstly, automated filters, powered by keyword-based algorithms and machine learning, can effectively flag messages containing prohibited language or content. Afterwards, human moderators can review these flagged messages, take context into account, and make informed judgements where necessary. As a result, this hybrid approach ensures a nuanced understanding of content. In short, the efficiency of AI plus the discernment of human moderators equals success.

Methods to Moderate Live Chat Content

1. Automated Filters

As a first line of defence, automated filters quickly find and flag messages that don’t meet your prerequisites for live chat moderation. While these filters can evolve through machine learning, adapting to emerging patterns of misuse, they never stand as the whole solution since context can potentially be left out and particular words, phrases, or obscure slang can be difficult to detect.

2. Manual Review

Human moderators, as explained before, have to be well-versed in business and be great communicators. Furthermore, they should be given the tools and guidelines to deal with the sheer amount of negative information they are hired to analyse, since their job can sometimes solely consist of manually reviewing flagged messages. They are sometimes necessary to understand context, tone, and intent, ensuring that decisions to censor, ban, delete, or others align with the nuanced nature of online communication and the live chat moderation guidelines set out by the enterprise.

3. Pre-moderation vs. Post-moderation

In some cases, platforms can choose between pre-moderation (reviewing messages before they are published) or post-moderation (reviewing messages after publication) as a method for live chat moderation. Although pre-moderation sounds revolutionary since platforms won’t need to deal with the aftermath of guideline-infringing comments, this can cause a chain reaction of miscommunication. While it seems great at first, it inevitably leads to slower, more robotic, and less authentic interaction. Nevertheless, the choice depends on the platform’s needs, resources, and the desired balance between real-time interaction and moderation efficacy.

4. Shadow Banning

This practice is a silent live chat moderation technique where a user’s texts are made invisible to others without notifying him. For instance, a person might be continuously spamming a message in the chat, making all other users annoyed and less likely to continue interacting. However, with the use of manual or automatic shadow banning, the user’s posts will become invisible to the other members while still allowing him the ability to post. As a result, this approach fosters a more positive atmosphere by allowing users to participate while discouraging guideline violations, promoting self-regulation, and maintaining a sense of inclusivity without resorting to complete exclusion.

5. Use AI

AI is indispensable for live chat moderation due to the sheer volume and real-time nature of online interactions. In other words, with an ever-growing user base, manual moderation alone becomes impractical. For instance, AI algorithms excel at swiftly analysing vast amounts of text, identifying patterns, and flagging potentially harmful content such as hate speech, profanity, or spam. On the contrary, any fairly-sized platform would require hundreds, if not thousands, of human moderators to do a faction of the job. As a result, this efficiency enables a proactive response to moderation challenges, building a safer and more inclusive online environment.

Moreover, AI can continuously evolve by learning from new data, adapting to emerging online trends, and improving its accuracy over time. Subsequently, by automating routine tasks, AI empowers human moderators to focus on nuanced and context-specific issues, striking a balance between efficiency and effectiveness in maintaining a positive online community. In essence, AI-driven live chat moderation is crucial for scalability, speed, and the continuous improvement of content safety measures.

Best Practices

1. Establish Clear Guidelines

Before implementing any live chat moderation tool, tactic, or strategy, the first step to creating a positive and collaborative platform is to establish clear guidelines. The second step is to efficiently and clearly communicate community standards and acceptable use policies to users. Consequently, these transparent guidelines provide users with a clear understanding of what is expected, reducing the likelihood of unintentional violations.

2. User Reporting

Reminding users they have the ability to report fraud and other forms of content adds a layer of community-driven moderation. As a result, this form of live chat moderation activity not only builds a sense of shared responsibility but also provides valuable insights into emerging issues within the community. Conversely, if users are not equipped with the tools to report and deal with the issues that may arise in the community, their dissatisfaction could manifest in the form of negative word of mouth and reviews.

3. Invest in Training

Going back to human moderators, comprehensive and up-to-date training is essential. Subsequently, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the challenges of real-time moderation, make informed decisions, and effectively communicate with users is necessary for maintaining a violence-free platform. 

4. Prioritise User Safety

Have an efficient system combining AI and human live chat moderation that acts swiftly to address instances of harassment, bullying, or any form of harmful behaviour. In brief, prioritising the safety and well-being of users fosters a positive environment conducive to productive communication.

5. Regularly Review Policies

The online space is dynamic, with emerging trends and evolving threats. This is why regularly reviewing and updating moderation policies is crucial in ensuring that they remain effective in addressing new challenges and maintaining relevance.

Drawbacks of Chat Moderation

While the importance of live chat moderation cannot be overstated, it is essential to acknowledge and address potential drawbacks:

1. Over-reliance on Automated Filters

Automated filters, while efficient, may inadvertently flag legitimate content or fail to capture nuanced forms of misconduct. Therefore, human or highly effective AI intervention is often necessary to rectify these situations and ensure fair treatment.

2. Moderator Bias

Human moderators may exhibit biases or inconsistencies in their enforcement of moderation policies. Consequently, it is crucial to implement checks, balances, and sometimes AI assistance to minimise bias. This, in turn, will ensure a fair and impartial live chat moderation process.

3. Scalability Issues

As chat volumes increase and the userbase inevitably encounters more guideline-infringing users, scaling live chat moderation efforts becomes challenging. Therefore, adequate resources and infrastructure are required to keep pace with the growing demand for real-time moderation. However, human moderation often falls short of the nuances of a larger user base. Therefore, this is when implementing an effective AI moderator becomes non-negotiable.

Checkstep’s Chat Moderation Features

At Checkstep, we understand the consequences and negative effects of not implementing a live chat moderation strategy and lacking the tools to keep a platform safe. This is why we provide an easy-to-integrate AI that has the ability to oversee, flag, report, and act upon guideline infringements. The following is a list of our policies, the types of text content, and the behaviours our AI can detect:

  • Human exploitation: Monitor the complex systems that use your platform to harm vulnerable individuals.
  • Spam: Let our AI filter out spam in real-time.
  • Fraud: Detect fraudulent activities to maintain integrity and protect users.
  • Nudity & Adult content: Remove nudity and sexual content that violate your policies.
  • Profanity: Identify and filter out profanity in a variety of languages, including slang.
  • Suicide & Self-harm: Quickly recognise signs of suicidality and take swift steps to prevent self-harm.
  • Terrorism & Violent Extremism: Use Checkstep’s moderation AI to flag text used to promote and praise acts of terrorism and violence.
  • Bullying & Harrassment: Detect harassment and abusive content in real time.
  • Child Safety: Identify online intimidation, threats, or abusive behaviour or content in real time.
  • Disinformation: Use Checkstep’s moderation AI to combat disinformation and misinformation.
  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII): Detect PII such as phone number, bank details, and address.
  • Hate speech: Address hate speech in over 100 languages, including slang.

Not only will our AI detect those activities during live chat moderation, but it can also do so with all sorts of content types in any comment, forum, username, post, profile description, chat, and more.

If you’re looking for more information regarding live chat moderation, you can find a more in-depth explanation of our text moderation services here.


Why is Chat Moderation Important?

Chat moderation is crucial to maintaining a respectful and secure online space by preventing inappropriate content, harassment, and abuse and fostering a welcoming community for users to engage in.

What is Chat Moderation?

Chat moderation is the process of monitoring and managing online conversations in real-time to ensure that users adhere to community guidelines, promoting a safe and positive environment.

What does a Chat Moderator do?

A chat moderator oversees conversations, enforces community guidelines, identifies and addresses inappropriate content, manages user interactions, and ensures a positive and inclusive atmosphere within online platforms.

How can I be a Good Chat Moderator?

To be an effective chat moderator, one should have strong communication skills, remain impartial, understand and enforce community guidelines, be responsive to user concerns, and foster a sense of community through positive engagement and guidance.

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