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Empowering Gaming Superheroes: A Deep Dive into Content Moderation and Wellbeing

By February 20, 2024No Comments

In the vibrant and ever-evolving world of online gaming, where virtual realms come alive and communities thrive, there exists a silent workforce often operating in the shadows – the unsung heroes known as Content Moderators. Behind the scenes, these individuals play a crucial role in ensuring the gaming experience remains enjoyable, safe, and free from disruptive elements. However, as we delve into the intricate world of gaming content moderation, it becomes imperative to shed light on a topic that is often overlooked – the mental wellbeing of those who tirelessly sift through the digital chaos. 

Content Moderators dedicate themselves to maintaining a safe online gaming space. From the relentless barrage of offensive content to the emotional toll of enforcing community guidelines, fostering a supportive environment for those who safeguard the virtual realms is crucial. 

Why Content Moderators are Superheroes 

Moderators face the worst aspects of the internet daily, making decisions that can even save lives in real-life threat cases. This superhero title isn’t just a label; it comes with a responsibility to provide moderators with the necessary tools and knowledge, acknowledging their role as crucial guardians of online spaces. Without content moderation, users of online spaces and members of online communities become vulnerable to abuse, bullying, and other harms. 

Much like superheroes, Content Moderators face many challenges, standing as the first line of defence against inappropriate content, hate speech, and other disruptive elements that threaten the sanctity of virtual spaces. Their mission? To maintain the delicate balance between freedom of expression and creating a secure haven for gamers. 

Content Moderators exhibit superhuman resilience, facing a constant onslaught of explicit material and navigating the emotional toll of enforcing community guidelines. They act as the guardians of the digital universe, safeguarding the innocence of online communities while battling the darker corners of the internet. 

Building Trust and Safety: Safety by Design 

The concept of “Safety by Design” applies to the psychological safety of Content Moderators. This internal process is designed to support Content Moderator’s mental wellbeing. This is a proactive intervention, resiliency building, and equips moderators for their day-to-day challenges. 

Mental health awareness, education, and leadership programs are all tools to build trust and safety which will result in supporting individual needs, promoting daily self-care routines, and fostering cultural understanding within globally dispersed teams. 

Content Moderation Across Platforms: Gaming vs. Social Media 

The difference between moderating in gaming and on social media platforms is the environment of in-game moderation can be more controlled, compared to the unpredictability of social media. 

While the challenges may vary, the wellbeing practices and safety principles should remain consistent. The importance of tailoring interventions to suit the unique aspects of each platform and content type should be taken into consideration for the psychological health of Content Moderators. 

Here are some key considerations for content moderation in these two contexts: 

Gaming Platforms

In-Game Behavior

  • The practice of maintaining moderation in gaming primarily centers around regulating various aspects of player conduct, such as their communication through chat messages, voice interactions, and overall engagement within the virtual gaming world 
  • Offensive language, hate speech, and harassment are common concerns that moderators address in real time. 

User Reporting Systems

Gaming platforms usually have systems that let users flag inappropriate actions. Reviewers then check out those flags and decide on suitable responses. 

Automated Filters

Computerized mechanisms are often utilized in gaming to censor or remove unsuitable terminology and improper material. These safeguards can assist in diminishing the amount of work required by human moderators. 

Game-Specific Challenges

Some games can present special difficulties, like players using cheats, hacks, or exploits. Moderators also need to handle problems that affect whether the game is played fairly. 

Community Guidelines

The companies that create online gaming environments frequently put in place explicit rules of conduct that describe what is and isn’t allowed. Breaking these regulations can bring about punishments, which might include short-term or lifelong prohibition from the platform. 

Social Media Platforms

Diverse Content Types

Social media platforms host a wide range of content, including text, images, videos, and links. Content Moderators need to cover various media formats and communication channels. 

Global User Base

Social media sites typically have a large and varied international community of users. Content moderation needs to take into account cultural variety and different viewpoints. 

Algorithmic Moderation

Social media sites often use automated tools to find and take down unsuitable material. However how well these tools work can change, resulting in incorrectly flagging acceptable content or failing to catch unacceptable content. 

Contextual Understanding

Moderators on social media platforms often need a nuanced understanding of context. Content that may be acceptable in one context could be inappropriate in another. 

Privacy Concerns

Social media involves a high level of personal sharing. Moderation must balance the need to protect users from harmful content while respecting privacy concerns. 

User Reporting and Appeals

Social media and gaming platforms both depend on users reporting inappropriate content to find and remove it. Users should also have ways to request reviews if they think a moderation decision was wrong. 

Common Challenges for Gaming and Social Platforms 

  1. Scale: Social media sites and video game platforms struggle with overseeing huge volumes of user-generated content because of their extensive number of users. 
  2. Evading Moderation: Some users might try to get around content moderation by speaking in vague terms or posting improper material in a roundabout way. 
  3. Constant Adaptation: As fresh fads, viral jokes, and ways of conversing develop, online sites need to adjust their content regulation approaches to tackle arising difficulties that come with change 

In both contexts, effective content moderation requires a combination of automated tools, human moderation, clear community guidelines, and a commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive online environment. 

In conclusion, the need for a well-embedded culture of wellbeing, involving collaboration with HR, leadership, and the moderation teams themselves results in a robust holistic wellbeing approach. This tailored approach ensures that moderators are equipped with the right armour to face the challenges of content moderation and protect their mental wellbeing, irrespective of the platform.