Moderate with purpose — Powering a safer digital world with Rocket.Chat

Pavithra Sudhakar
March 21, 2024
min read

What is moderation? 

Picture this; a virtual coffee shop, where ideas, thoughts, and perspectives merge to form a vibrant community. Just like in any coffee shop, there are rules to ensure a harmonious environment — you shouldn’t litter or disrespect others’ space.

Similarly, in our digital platforms, moderation serves as these essential ground rules. 

Message moderation in a communication platform involves overseeing and managing user content.

The goal is to make sure everything aligns with the platform’s rules and guidelines. The upkeep of this digital harmony falls to the moderators, who work tirelessly to filter out inappropriate content by reviewing, editing, deleting or blocking any content that is inappropriate, harmful, spam, or violates any rules

It’s all about cultivating an environment where engaging, meaningful conversations can thrive, and users feel safe and respected. 

The need for moderation

Message moderation is key in shaping an organization’s reputation by fostering respectful dialogues within the platform, and improving user experience. 

Detrimental content can harm a brand’s image, reduce user interaction and even attract legal issues. Without proper moderation, risks such as the spread of false information, cybersecurity threats, and damage to a company’s reputation and culture can increase significantly. 

On the flip side, moderation policies can help prevent legal repercussions by curbing harmful content that may violate certain laws. Regularly moderated content can boost a brand’s reputation and influence audience perceptions. This also guarantees a respectful and inclusive digital environment, promoting a sense of community among users. 

Therefore, moderation isn't just a rule-bound requirement; its transformative influence makes it an indispensable component in an organization's digital strategy. 

Bringing moderation to the forefront in highly-regulated industries

Message moderation assumes a heightened level of importance in highly-regulated industries such as government, defense, healthcare, and financial services for multiple reasons: 

  • Ensure regulatory compliance: These sectors are required to comply with stringent regulatory guidelines to maintain their operations. Any form of communication, including messages, must be in compliance with these regulations. A breach in compliance could result in penalties, or even discontinuation of the license to operate. Message moderation helps in maintaining this compliance by auditing, filtering, and managing messages based on the required guidelines. 
  • Enhance security: One of the primary purposes of message moderation is to protect data and information shared, given its sensitive and confidential nature. Unauthorized access or exposure can have grave consequences. Moderation acts as an added layer to protection, scrutinizing content for any potentially harmful or sensitive information. 
  • Uphold decorum: In high-stakes industries such as finance, defense, and healthcare, maintaining a certain level of professionalism and respect is paramount. Message moderation helps in checking and curbing any form of inappropriate or disrespectful content. In doing so, it helps keep communication professional, thereby ensuring seamless and effective operations. 

In short, the importance of message moderation is magnified in these sectors due to the potential disastrous ramifications of security breaches, regulatory violations, and misinformation. Therefore, moderation is vital for upholding integrity, public trust, and adherence to industry regulations.

Navigating the future of moderation 

The future of message moderation will largely involve automation and advanced technologies such as AI and Machine Learning. It will rely on sophisticated algorithms that can accurately detect and filter out messages containing inappropriate content, hate speech and spam, ensuring safe and respectful online spaces. These systems will handle text, audio, video, and images, expanding moderation across different content types

While technology will be crucial, human moderators will not become obsolete, rather their role will transform to overseeing AI systems and managing complex moderation tasks, thereby creating a balance between human judgment and technology.

This synergy — human ethics and understanding, coupled with AI’s computational power — will profoundly shape the future of message moderation.  

Automated filtering + human moderation = Game changer!

Combining automated systems with human expertise is now more important than ever. Such an integrated approach not only speeds up processes, but also ensures accuracy. Let's delve into why this integrated approach is a game changer: 

  • Regulatory compliance and accuracy: Although automated systems can process large amounts of data efficiently, they may not grasp contextual subtleties and regulatory complexities, which can result in errors or compliance gaps. On the other hand, human moderators have a profound understanding of these regulations and can review and fix errors overlooked or created by the automated system. This combination improves accuracy and ensures stricter regulatory compliance. 
  • Data security and privacy: Organizations such as government agencies, healthcare institutions and financial services handle sensitive and private data. An integrated system provides an extra layer of security by combining advanced AI algorithms that can detect and flag inappropriate content, with skilled human moderators who can take necessary actions and make informed judgments on more complex privacy matters. This blend of expertise helps mitigate potential security threats and protect user data more robustly. 
  • Continuous improvement and risk minimization: Combining human moderation with automated filtering enhances the AI system’s learning capabilities and process. Feedback from human intervention refines the system’s accuracy over time, critical in sectors like defense and government where there’s little-to-no room for error. 

Solely relying on manual moderation can result in inconsistencies due to human bias and error. On the flip side, an automated system may miss out on nuances or complex situations. A combined approach ensures that the shortcomings of one can be counterbalanced by the other, reducing overall risk and improving moderation quality.

A safer digital world with Rocket.Chat 

Rocket.Chat supports moderation in various ways, upholding a secure and healthy communication space. Our goal is to enable organizations to sustain a professional and respectful communication environment on Rocket.Chat. 

Key features of moderation

  • Moderator roles and permissions: Rocket.Chat allows workspace admins to assign moderator roles to users. Moderators have access to a set of permissions that lets them manage the conversations within their assigned channels, and access the Moderation Console
  • Report messages and users: Users can flag or report messages that violate the platform's rules to bring them to the attention of moderators. This creates a community-driven moderation approach where users contribute to maintaining the platform's integrity.
  • Real-time moderation: Rocket.Chat can instantly flag and evaluate content in real-time. This quick response to potential policy violations ensures that inappropriate content or toxic behavior is swiftly addressed, mitigating any harmful impact on the community.
  • Customizable moderation rules: The thresholds for what is considered inappropriate content can be set as per an organization's requirement. This customization allows companies to maintain communication standards unique to their work culture and industry. 
  • Centralized control: Moderators can view all reported messages and users in one place, making it easier to monitor and manage flagged content. The moderated events can be cataloged for compliance and training purposes. 
  • Actionable insights: From the console, moderators can take direct actions such as deleting a reported message, deactivating a user, or resetting the user avatar, as per the severity of the violation.
  • Access to detailed information: For each reported message and user, the console provides complete information, including the reporter, the reported user details, the room where it was posted, and the reason for the report along with the timestamps. 
  • Searchable reports: The moderation reports are easily searchable and can be filtered based on a specific time and date range. This makes it easier and faster to manage and monitor user behavior.

AI-powered moderation apps

Apart from its inherent moderation features, Rocket.Chat also has native integrations with advanced content moderation apps like Mod Assist and Mod Perspective, allowing for a diversified and comprehensive moderation approach. 

Mod Assist app

Mod Assist is an application designed to enforce content guidelines within a workspace. By regularly monitoring designated channels, the app identifies and reports any inappropriate messages according to predefined moderation rules. This automated process allows moderators to promptly address harmful content and decide on appropriate actions. 

Mod Perspective app 

Mod Perspective is a content moderation app, powered by Jigsaw’s Perspective API. The app scans messages for toxicity and automatically flags, blocks, or deletes any toxic message that violates the moderation threshold in your workspace. The app doesn’t just flag or block toxic messages, it also has an optional setting to deactivate the offenders' accounts, discouraging future inappropriate behavior.

Key capabilities of the apps

  • Toxicity scanning: The apps regularly monitor all the designated rooms and scans messages to detect any abusive, offensive, or inappropriate content. It helps to identify toxicity in the interactions within the work environment in real-time. 
  • Automated moderation: Based on the moderation threshold and rules set by the admins, toxic messages will be automatically flagged, blocked, or deleted. This helps in maintaining a healthy and respectful communication environment. 
  • Sensitivity controls: The admins can set the toxicity threshold according to their needs, thus providing more control over the moderating process. The apps will restrict any user from sending messages if it crosses the set toxicity threshold.

  • Contextual information: The apps will enrich the reported messages with additional information such as the sender details, room in which the message was sent, the date and timestamp of when it was reported, along with a link to access the message directly for better context.

In a nutshell, Rocket.Chat's moderation offering fosters a healthy digital communication environment that serves the interests of the organization, aligns with its guidelines, and caters to user satisfaction. By effectively combining automation and human discernment, the system keeps the community safe, engaged, and respectful. Its focus on real-time, scalable, and efficient management aids in keeping up with the bustling pace of online conversations without compromising on the quality. This ultimately builds user trust, enhances brand reputation, and ensures a positive, productive digital communication environment.

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Pavithra is a Product Marketing Manager at Rocket.Chat. She represents the voice of the customers and helps shape the voice of the product. She is highly passionate about bringing new offerings to the market. When she isn’t donning the hat of a Product Marketer, she tries her hand at multiple cuisines, lives a hundred different fictional characters through books, and enjoys playing badminton.
Pavithra Sudhakar
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