The Growing Need For Multilingual Content Moderation
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we find it only fitting to include an introductory note on the critical importance of ensuring your online content is accurately and responsibly translated and localized. Together, we can stop the dissemination of misinformation and minimize unnecessary harm to the general public. Let’s all do our part. Thank you.
– Claudia Mirza, CEO, Akorbi
In 2019, Fortune Global 500 companies generated a combined USD 32.7 trillion in revenues and currently “employ 69.2 million people worldwide.”1 But outside of the global giants like Walmart, Exxon Mobil, and Toyota Motor, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are also going global.
In a recent survey conducted by independent research firm, Researchscape, “over half of the SMB executives surveyed have customers and suppliers outside of the U.S. (58 percent and 50 percent respectively) [and] a third have employees outside the U.S.”2 The survey also revealed that SMBs are looking to increase their international presence. With powerful drivers such as an increased customer base, a higher quality talent pool, lower operating costs, and increased access to quality suppliers and vendors, small, medium, and large businesses from virtually every industry are looking to increase their international presence.
Data Source: USForex Commissioned Survey, Researchscape
Global Internet Penetration
However, global expansion wouldn’t be possible for a great many companies without the assistance of advanced technology. With an increase in digital platforms, online communication tools, chatbots, and more, companies large and small are now better able to reach their international customers. In fact, according to American Express, “[a]lmost half of small and mid-sized businesses that sell internationally began exporting ‘accidentally’ when foreign buyers found them online.”3
There is no argument – the world has gone global. People from every corner of the globe are uploading videos, listening to podcasts, watching webinars, sharing photos, discussing politics, researching, consuming daily news, and shopping online – to the tune of an expected $4.9T by 2021. From eCommerce sites to social media platforms, there are now over 4 billion Internet users worldwide spending, on average, “6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.”4
Online Content Complexity
Whether the initial goal in content creation is to entertain, educate, persuade, or convert, every company’s end goal is to drive business and earn customer loyalty. Accordingly, digital content creation has become an invaluable part of any successful business strategy. With a well-designed content marketing blueprint, companies guide the customer on a journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. But it isn’t just about content volume – at each stage of the buyer’s journey, your content quality can either enhance your audience’s experience or hinder it.
Original Data Source: HubSpot
Companies must keep in mind, however, that each unique piece of online content also increases user engagement. As a result, businesses must now find innovative and effective solutions to moderate user-generated content (UGC) to protect their brand’s reputation.
Social Media Can Make – Or Break – Your Brand
In today’s digital world, customers have the ability to quite literally make – or break – your reputation. Social media alone boasts billions of global users. From online customer review sites and a growing number of customer complaint sites, to online blogs, journals, and industry outlets, your customers are talking across regions and they’re communicating across many languages.
In a recent study conducted by software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, MOZ, 1,000 consumers were asked a number of questions via Google Consumer Surveys. “The results revealed that online reviews impact 67.7% of respondents’ purchasing decisions. More than half of the respondents (54.7%) admitted that online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process.”5
The research also revealed that businesses risk losing a significant percentage of potential customers when negative articles about the company are found during their search. And, with each additional negative article, the percentage drastically increases:
From illegal, fraudulent, and offensive UGC to negative online reviews and social bullying, Internet users can very quickly harm your good name. By paying attention to your social media platforms and online conversations, you’ll not only mitigate the risk of bad reviews, but you might even find new growth opportunities as well.
Building strong customer relationships is key to protecting your company’s brand but a powerful content marketing strategy is no longer enough. Adapting multilingual content moderation solutions has become an integral part of the equation.
Global Content Moderation Solutions Market
Online content moderation began to emerge with the widespread consumer adoption of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter between 2004 and 2006. Today, media and entertainment, retail and eCommerce, governmental agencies, healthcare and life sciences, technology, real estate, manufacturing, and legal sectors (among a mountain of others) have all developed a strong social media presence. With this massive global influx of user-generated content, the need for content moderation has grown to industrial scale.
Over the next decade, the content moderation solutions market is expected to double in size, due in large part to increased access to Internet use (esp. in developing countries) and the increased amount of UGC. However, Internet access will remain higher in advanced economies.
As a result, the North American region will continue to dominate the content moderation market, followed in descending order by Europe, the Asian Pacific region, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
From the moderation of text (comments, descriptions, reviews), to videos, profiles, and websites, UGC moderation has indeed become a serious topic of discussion.
Automation vs. Human Content Moderators
Just about every company with an online presence now uses content moderation from one degree to another. Smaller companies might only have limited use of automated content moderation and, instead, rely mainly on human content moderators. For these companies, humans are uniquely responsible for reviewing content that is more nuanced and difficult to understand while their automated systems are programmed to moderate content that is more repetitive in nature and has a tendency to recirculate.
However, in some instances, human moderators work in unison with machine algorithms by adjudicating preselected content datasets that are then fed back into systems to help “teach” the machines what to detect and consequently, what to remove. Regardless of whether or not you decide to invest in human moderation, automated moderation, or a hybrid mix of the two, there are important considerations to keep in mind.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more challenging, since a significant percentage of the users of major Internet platforms reside outside English-speaking countries, these content moderation limitations become even more complex.
The Case For Multilingual Content Moderation
English Is No Longer The Universal Internet Language
Although English remains the first of the top 10 online languages, it is gradually losing its status as the Internet’s universal language. FUNREDES (Foundation for Networks and Development) has been researching linguistic diversity since 1996, and lead researcher, Álvaro Blanco, has been closely monitoring the gradual decline in English-language Internet penetration. Through Blanco’s research, we know that from 1996 to 2016 and counting, there has been a relatively steady decline in the percentage of English-language Internet users and English-language web pages.
In 2014, Common Sense Advisory (CSA) surveyed over 3,000 online consumers across 10 non-Anglophone countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, and what they found gave businesses an immediate pause for thought on how they communicate with their global audience. In fact, an astounding 75 percent of respondents revealed that they prefer to do business online in their native language (up from 72.4 percent from their 2006 survey). The CSA report also revealed that 30 percent of respondents “never buy at English-language sites and another 29 [percent] rarely do.8
Multilingual Content Moderation Solutions Require Specialized LSPs
With a gradual increase in multilingual online content, businesses must now find viable solutions to communicate effectively across multiple languages. This is especially true for multinational corporations (MNCs) that engage with consumers from diverse backgrounds and from multiple regions of the world. But finding moderators for every language that companies attract – and for every region – seems almost insurmountable.
To put things into perspective, even online giants such as Facebook and Google, two colossal firms each with a massive global footprint find it challenging to moderate content for every language and in every region. Making content moderation even more challenging is the need to consider context. Content written in one geographical or regional area might carry a completely different meaning elsewhere, even if written in the same language. If content moderators are not native speakers of the language they are moderating or are from a different region where the language is spoken, the risk increases for misinterpretation of the content’s message. As “languages – and in particular slang terms – [continue to] evolve over time”9 , so must your approach to content moderation.
“So, how do companies reconcile the growing demand for multilingual content with responsible content moderation? It really comes down to investing in a professional team of human multilingual content moderators coupled with advanced technology – and this is where Akorbi takes center stage.”10
Trust The Multilingual Content Moderation Specialists
From illegal, fraudulent, and offensive user-generated content to negative online reviews and social bullying, Internet users can very quickly harm your good name. Content moderation is a multi-faceted and highly complex process – and the more nuanced the language, the more complex the moderation.
With the added challenge of having to moderate content in multiple languages, companies are looking for more than a content moderation provider – they require a language services partner that provides multilingual content moderation solutions. This is Akorbi’s differentiating expertise. While there are a number of highly-successful contenders in the content moderation space, Akorbi leads the way with multilingual content moderation solutions. We offer advanced, cost-effective, and timely content moderation in over 170 languages.
Since 2003, Akorbi has been serving its global customers across industry sectors. By working directly in your preferred CMS, our in-house and outsourced multilingual content moderators help you keep unwanted and harmful content in any form – and in any language – at bay. Whether you require content moderators to work remotely or directly within your organization, Akorbi provides customized solutions to meet your unique needs.
You are the subject matter experts in your industry, and you’ve worked diligently to build quality products and services for your customers. You’ve successfully increased brand awareness and your business, website, and social media platforms are reaping the benefits. Now more than ever before, it’s important to protect your brand and seek new growth opportunities. Don’t let your hard work be in vain. Don’t let your reputation hang in the balance. Reach out to Akorbi, your strategic partner in multilingual content moderation.
Created in partnership with GIM Writing Services.