Content moderation has no easy answers

“…Twitter or Facebook should be more like MetaFilter, but there’s no way the numbers work out. We had 6 people combing through hundreds of reported postings each day. On a scale many orders of magnitude larger, you can’t employ enough moderators to make sure everything gets a check. You can work off just reported stuff and that cuts down your workload, but it’s still a deluge when you’re talking about millions of things per day. How many moderators could even work at Google? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? A million?”

A Whole Lotta Nothing

This morning I read Casey Newton’s expose of Facebook moderation problems at the Verge.

Let me be clear upfront: content moderation is tough and I have no idea how to solve it at internet scale—in fact I’m not even sure it’s possible to do on the orders of millions and billions of items to be reviewed. Stories like this started coming out about 5 years ago about facebook moderators in the Philippines having high burnout rates and I remember thinking the problem had no easy solution back then (hint: it’s even worse now).

I ran a somewhat popular indie site for 15 years, the last half or so with ample moderation. But to put the scale of the work in perspective, we were dealing with 10-15 thousand active people daily posting about 3,000 things. Slightly big numbers but still small enough you can wrap your head around them. Mostly…

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Roles of the Product Manager

While it varies by company, the role of product manager generally encompasses three areas:

• Experience (design). This is the user-facing aspect of the product. It means deciding which features to build for the users—not necessarily which features will make money but which ones make for a better product.

• Technology (engineering, project management). This involves understanding the implementation of the product. At the least, it means managing the schedule and checking in on accomplishments. In a more technical product manager role it might involve working directly with developers to create an API specification.

• Strategy (business). This is the piece most aligned with brand management. Strategy means deciding which business areas the product needs to grow in and why. It also means running A/B tests and other experiments to help optimize the performance and revenue of the product.

Evolution of the Product Manager: Better education needed to develop the discipline by Ellen Chisa | ACMqueue

At The Movies

Did somebody, maybe me, forget to push my laugh button before “Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy” began?

This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.

“Cop and a Half” is a cheerful example of the “wunza” movie, so named because of its popular formula, as in: “Wunza cop and wunza robber,” or, in this case, “Wunza cop and wunza 8-year-old kid.”

2014 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. A blog that has been neglected and left mostly dormant, I might add.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 550 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.