“…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?”
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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