Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely

Content Moderation

  • Sarah T. Roberts
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_44-1



Content moderation is the organized practice of screening user-generated content (UGC) posted to Internet sites, social media, and other online outlets, in order to determine the appropriateness of the content for a given site, locality, or jurisdiction. The process can result in UGC being removed by a moderator, acting as an agent of the platform or site in question. Increasingly, social media platforms rely on massive quantities of UGC data to populate them and to drive user engagement; with that increase has come the concomitant need for platforms and sites to enforce their rules and relevant or applicable laws, as the posting of inappropriate content is considered a major source of liability.

The style of moderation can vary from site to site, and from platform to platform, as rules around what UGC is allowed are often set at a site or platform level and reflect that platform’s brand and reputation,...


Social Media Online Community Content Moderation Social Media Platform Moderation Practice 
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Further Readings

  1. Crawford, K., & Gillespie, T. (2016). What is a flag for? Social media reporting tools and the vocabulary of complaint. New Media & Society, 18 (3), 410–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Galloway, A. R. (2006). Protocol: How control exists after decentralization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Postigo, H. (2003). Emerging sources of labor on the internet: The case of America online volunteers. International Review of Social History, 48(S11), 205–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Roberts, S. T. (2016). Commercial content moderation: Digital laborers’ dirty work. In S. U. Noble & B. Tynes (Eds.), The intersectional internet: Race, sex, class and culture online (pp. 147–160). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  5. Turner, F. (2005). Where the counterculture met the new economy: The WELL and the origins of virtual community. Technology and Culture, 46 (3), 485–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA