Social Media has been exposed to harmful content like hate speech, racial remarks, and other nonsensical elements. But, if you are a social media app, the trend can be terrifying. It may seem to be a great thing as more people engage in the conversation over your platform. Simultaneously, if the credibility of information on your platform is ruined, the same user base can reduce drastically.
Take an example of the capitol riot in the US recently. The self-regulatory steps induced by Twitter and Facebook during the event have been remarkable. It could not prevent the propagation of what can be called the darkest abuse of UGC or User Generated Content on a Social Media platform ever.
If you are developing a social media platform, it becomes to deploy features that can help self regulate User Generated Content. To understand the importance of self-regulation, let’s see some examples of UGC being at the centre of scrutiny by authorities worldwide.
Why You Need The Self-Regulation of UGC?
From the farmer protests in India to the George Floyd row in the US, the internet is filled with instances where User Generated Content has been at the centerstage of scrutiny. We already know the data regulation policies of the European Union, which is barricading the data leaks of citizens to the US-based social media giants.
A study by Robert Yablon from the University of Wisconsin Law School suggests that social media platforms need to be democratic in terms of political views presented on the platform. The political bias, lack of self-regulation, and hate speech propagation on social media platforms have led to stricter actions from governments and even users.
According to a Facebook report, it has lost almost 2 million users in the third quarter of 2020 and fears the trend to continue further in the next quarter. If you think that social media platform’s self-regulation is next to impossible, you are mistaken if the user base is massive. Here are some ways to ensure that the user-generated content is self-regulated on your social media platform.
Let’s discuss some of the ways with which you can self-regulate the content on your platform.
Intelligent Content Curation
Apart from the UGC, there are many different forms of content: Influencer Generated Content or IGC. It is crucial as a platform for you to curate the content across types, and not only UGC.
A User Generated Content or UGC can be blog posts, video content like youtube videos, forums, case studies, social media, and many more. UGC acts as social proof, which is a concept of creating a queue of ideas.
Here, one social media user can influence others to follow a similar type of trend or idea. That is why UGC self-regulation becomes quintessential for any social media platform.
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be used for effective content curation. Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram already use content curation through AI engines. They even deploy programmable advertising for targeted marketing. The same technology can be leveraged to curate content on the platform.
AI models can train by analyzing the data patterns of user-generated content and identifying specific accounts engaged in misuse of social media. So, you can easily regulate their content and account behavior.
Social Commerce Regulation
Most of the giant social media platforms have marketplaces integrated with their core business structures. For example, Facebook provides dedicated local marketplaces with a focus on the localization of eCommerce. Here, a social selling strategy comes in handy. A social selling strategy helps with
- Identification of leads
- Stronger customer relationships
- Achieving sales goals
But, if you are wondering how social selling strategy can help self-regulation? Here is an example, When you deploy a marketplace feature in your social media platform, several vendors offer multiple product categories. It often happens that in this massive volume of products being listed, there are listings that can be sensitive to a community or culture.
Having a sound social selling strategy can help define listing rules and avoid backlash on sensitive products being listed.
Creating a Positive Brand
There is no downside in promoting your social media brand across other platforms as a positive platform.
Here, you can see how Whatsapp is trying to showcase its business applications’ ecosystem on the messaging app. Though there has been a backlash on their recent update, this ad is all about positive branding. You can employ such strategies to promote your social media platform on youtube or any other medium through suites available in the market.
Another way of encouraging a positive image of your brand is by thanking your audience. A thank you page at the end of an email newsletter or informational message stating the community guidelines can in fact help your audience feel the gentle urge of self-regulation.
Revisiting the Value Chain
The value chain is a term associated mostly with manufacturing or eCommerce businesses. Social media platforms are not just a medium for people to communicate anymore. It has become the eCommerce marketplace, where people attract new audiences to their products. Revisiting the value chains will help you maintain the status quo with your audience. While the supply chain deals with service delivery, the value chain relies on services’ value.
Self-regulations in the content ensure that your social media platform’s value chain remains intact and does not deteriorate. Social media platforms’ neutrality in matters like politics, propaganda, and others is the core self-regulation you might need.
For example, instagram usernames may not seem to be a big thing, but political hints in a username can hurt your reputations. You can integrate smart tools that suggest and curate usernames on your social media platforms.
Repurposing the content
Apart from the neutrality of policies, maintaining value, and self-regulation of the UGC, there is a way to reduce the negativity of content on your social media platform –the repurposing of social media content. It is an approach to educate your audience on the policies and values your platform believes in, which you will like your audiences to follow.
As you can see in this video ad from Facebook showcasing, building groups on the platform is a great way to connect with your friends and family. The same content can be repurposed to show that the platform promotes healthy community interactions than hate speech. Repurposing can be done in different formats like an infographic or a podcast.
Content management includes all the steps needed to curate, repurpose, and even block some of them. Many content management tools help businesses with such activities. If you are a new social media platform flooded with inappropriate content on your apps and websites, these tools can help you clean up.
Apart from monitoring and blocking harmful content, these tools enable intelligent content ideas and even help official scheduled posts on social media platforms. You can also explore the multichannel marketing of your intent behind the self-regulation and how you are safeguarding users’ interests.
Self-regulation is all about control. If you lose control of what’s on your social media platform, the repercussions will be enormous. Not just the authorities will come hard on your business, but you may lose the value that attracts users.
Here, we have discussed some aspects of content self-regulations like intelligent monitoring, content curation, repurposing content, creating guidelines, and many more. Each of these might not work for every social media platform, and that is why you need an analysis of user behaviours on your platform. It is also a great practice to have a content monitoring officer to ensure its quality of content.