November 20, 2022

Quickly moderate swear words on social media

By Jean de Salins
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Freedom of expression needs to be protected, but it also needs to have rules and limits. Insults, hateful content and toxic behaviour should not be tolerated in any setting. These types of interactions can have a negative impact on online communitiesbrand image, and relationships with partners.

Businesses of all types invest large sums of money in developing and managing their social media presence. To be competitive and build brand loyalty, a modern enterprise must ensure that it is prominent across a wide range of channels. 

Interactions with customers and between customers need to occur in a space where people feel comfortable expressing their views while being protected from abuse or harassment. 

Instances of people using swear words on your brand's social media pages can be detrimental to your reputation.

If the chat threads connected to your business are filled with profanities, your brand can be perceived as crude or offensive. It may also be seen as careless or unprofessional, since it moderates its content so poorly. Some customers may feel threatened or unsafe if there are large instances of profanity associated with your business. In any case, it can be a huge deterrent for potential customers, and lose you brand loyalty. 

Moderating swear words on social media is a crucial part of brand management. But is isn't easy.

Here, we take a look at how swear words can impact the perception of your business and why Bodyguard is the right solution to better moderate comments and chats on your social media channels. 

How swear words can harm your brand

Although they are not placed there by your staff, the comments that appear on your social media pages are representative of your business and can act as a showcase of your brand. It is never a good idea to let people use hate speech, discriminatory, sexist or racist language while on your pages. This much is obvious, but unfortunately, not all businesses are diligent about the issue. However, what about swear words? It seems that today society is split on whether swearing is an acceptable practice or not. Can swear words really harm your business?

Some businesses might be striving to adopt a permissive or ‘cool’ approach with their content and therefore allow some degree of swearing on their pages. For example, the gaming industry allows a certain amount of trolling and taunting to some extent. However, in general, profanity can make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe. This is especially true if your business is family orientated or caters to children. 

Swearing in social media comments casts your brand in an unfavourable light and can impact your customer acquisition and retention rate. Bad language is often seen as being vulgar, coarse and impolite. Allowing it to remain on your pages can cause customers to perceive your business as unprofessional or not taking enough care to keep its online communities safe. Also, while swearing can be exuberant and positive, it is often used in association with abuse and harassment. Stopping swearing on your social media pages will help to reduce instances of online bullying and threatening or offensive behaviour. It will enable your customers to engage in intelligent, constructive debate without fear of abuse. 

Remember that your duty is not only to your existing customers but also to your potential customers and the online community as a whole. Brands also need to keep in mind the potential future partners they can attract as a result of the good relationships they have built within their online communities. 

How to moderate swearing on your social media channels

Moderating swear words on the social media channels of your business requires vigilance and dedication. It can be hard to differentiate between mild instances of swearing that can be seen as acceptable and more extreme instances of profanity that are offensive or hurtful. This is because many algorithms simply use a list of swear words and do not take context into account. This technique is less than effective in today’s highly digitized world. For example, keyword moderation on Facebook has been found to have a 40% error rate.      

Unfortunately, manual moderation simply can not handle the huge number of comments that can be generated. Having human moderators is insufficient as it is not a scalable solution for brands. Moderators are human beings who can suffer mental health problems from being exposed to toxic content. Moreover, if moderators are not online to moderate comments and toxic behaviour occurs, the damage is already done by the time the comments are removed.   

However, there is an answer to the question of how to moderate swearing on social media channels. Bodyguard moderation can detect and moderate offensive comments automatically and in real-time in a range of languages and has a 90% success rate. 

Bodyguard technology provides businesses with an effective moderation solution that will help safeguard your brand image and e-reputation, and protect customer engagement.

Our innovative solution instantly detects instances of offensive language and remove it from chat threads in real time. It can take into account contextualisation and slang terms. It’s a smart and effective way for businesses to block offensive users, moderate bad behaviour and provide protection for their online community from toxic behaviour.

Find out more about how Bodyguard is the ideal moderation solution for brands and retailers.

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