Moderating Hate as More than an Afterthought

Social media sites need to actually take this seriously.

Lisa Martens

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It’s nice, but did you get feedback from a moderator before you launched? No? Photo credit: https://stocksnap.io/photo/9OQTUSUS0M

I’ve worked for two major social media websites as a support rep, and in both jobs I did some form of moderation. I’m speaking from my personal experience here, and from my experiences in speaking with moderators and support reps at other large social media companies.

And here’s the truth: Moderators for social media sites are usually not trained well, and are not given the emotional tools to deal with the violence and hate they see on a daily basis. In my experience, moderators usually don’t even have a background in moderating.

They are not paid very well, and they’re usually liberal arts majors (if they have a degree at all). The trail of thinking usually is something like this: People develop a website. Then some jerks are making the website hard for women/minority groups. So the engineers hire some liberal arts majors for $15/hour or less to block the bad guys, and they try to automate as much as they can.

Moderators burn out fairly quickly from what I’ve seen, and they are replaced with more underpaid moderators. They’re usually gone after a year or two.

What you have are young, recent graduates saddled with student debt getting paid $35,000 or less attempting to…

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Lisa Martens

A remote working Latina. Storytelling is a calling. Read, support, and more here: https://linktr.ee/lisathewriter