The moderation debate has previously centered on not impacting freedom of speech. Nowadays the focus is on protecting users. But Facebook’s recent struggles around its moderation and safety policies, coupled with the undeniable correlation between what happens online and real-world events, like past ethnic violence in Sri Lanka or Myanmar, have brought the debate sharply into focus.
Moderation has become a ‘must have’, so we’ll likely see many companies overhauling their moderation strategies in the year ahead. The trend we’re seeing will only accelerate, and more people will keep turning to gaming. So the moderation challenge will become more pressing if gaming companies don’t move away from stayed methods of moderation. When you look at recent movements like #Twitchdobetter, public pressure for change will no doubt be a factor as well.
Equally, the market has seen some big changes in 2021. Major players in the gaming space have acquired their own moderation specialists – Unity and Oto, Discord and Sentropy, Microsoft and TwoHat. Which could hold some big implications in the year ahead for those left behind. Will we see a rush to snap up the remaining moderators, or will we see a renewed drive to develop more tools in-house?
Gaming companies should be working internally to update their tools and processes, since ongoing legislative debates we’re seeing in the USA, UK, France, and Brazil will also have a huge bearing on the future of moderation. The outcome from the ongoing examination of Facebook’s practices will no doubt have some bearing on legislative decision making. But if companies are prepared when regulatory changes come into effect, the transition will be a lot smoother.