Leading Brazilian online media, UOL, chooses Finnish AI tool

August 9, 2019
Leading Brazilian online media, UOL, chooses Finnish AI tool

Brazil’s leading online media UOL has chosen Finnish Utopia Analytics as its AI-based moderation service provider. Utopia AI Moderator has already boosted user engagement by 50 % and helped UOL cut costs significantly.

Universo Online, commonly known as UOL, is one of the most visited websites in Brazil. It receives about 98 million unique visitors and 6.4 billion page-views on a monthly basis.

UOL’s manual content moderation process was causing serious publishing delays that prevented smooth discussions among its users, and inconsistency in moderation quality due to subjective opinions. UOL found Utopia AI Moderator to be the most suitable approach that could help eliminate delays, increase user engagement, ensure healthy and quality discussions. The only concern was, if the tool could really adapt to the Brazilian dialect of the Portuguese language.

“Common moderation tools use natural language processing (NLP) based on rules and word lists, which ends up being a limiting factor. Often, those are originally developed for the English language, and have difficulties adapting to other languages. Utopia’s solution has the advantage of being language-independent, requiring only earlier human moderated data from us to develop a tailor-made statistical AI model, one that really works for us. We have found Utopia’s service to be of high-quality and trouble-free, and regular updates for the AI with new data are done by Utopia without any intervention from UOL”, says Daniel Kono, R&D Manager at UOL.

With Utopia AI Moderator UOL is able to pre-moderate all the comments in real time. UOL chose to send 15 % of the comments to its human moderators for further check, which is a very low workload for the moderation of news comments. This has resulted in a much livelier comment section, with most comments published immediately.

“We were positively surprised by the simplicity with which we were able to implement Utopia’s automated moderation solution. It has proven to be extremely beneficial for us. We are now able to pre-moderate 100% of the comments in real time, and only check a small percentage of the comments manually afterwards. This is a big cost-saving for us as we get over half a million comments a month” says Ricardo Fotios, Content Manager at UOL.
“Before, depending on the theme, the comments might have had to wait a considerable time in the moderation queue to be validated and published on the UOL page. Now, moderation happens instantly. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in audience engagement, for example, comments to our news articles have increased by over 50 % in 6 months”, Fotios adds.

Utopia’s co-founder and CEO, Mari-Sanna Paukkeri, says Brazil is an important step in Utopia’s ongoing global expansion, as it is the biggest economy in South America, and Brazilian Portuguese language is a further testament to Utopia AI Moderator’s capability to moderate any language and dialect in the world.

About UOL

UOL was founded in 1996 in São Paulo, Brazil by Grupo Folha – the second largest media group in Brazil. Throughout the years, UOL expanded massively to become the world’s largest Portuguese speaking portal with more than 1,000 news sources and 7,4 million pages. Apart from being a major online news provider for the Portuguese-speaking audience, UOL also offers apps for smartphones and tablets, such as Placar UOL, UOL Cotações, UOL Notícias, among others, and together have already reached 25 million downloads. In addition to the news content, UOL also offers the most complete platform of internet products and services.

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