Monitoring and moderation - what's the difference?

Monitoring & moderation - laptop-eyes-technology-computer.jpgRead time: 4 mins

Monitoring and moderation are often interchangeably used terms in the world of social media. But understanding the differences between the two is critical to making sure you have an effective social media strategy in place.

What is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring involves scanning and filtering online content for relevant mentions. It is used to keep a close eye on what the online community is saying about your brand, product and service. It’s a helpful tool for keeping up-to-date with what the online community is thinking about your brand, product or service.

Keywords: observation, filtering, awareness, spotting problems

Most monitoring services scan social media channels alongside the wider social web, review sites and app stores for mentions, meaning you can do things such as catalog product complaints, be alerted to troublesome software updates and monitor for changes in sentiment towards your brand. 

What is social media moderation?

Social media moderationSocial media moderation is the process of scanning for inappropriate content and taking action against it, whether that’s removing it, hiding it from other followers, blocking the account or reporting an element of it to the social platform it appears on.

Keywords: removal, blocking, reporting, prevention

‘Inappropriate’ content covers a wide range of comments, images and videos which contain content the brand doesn’t want to be associated with, including profanities, scams, spam, hate speech, abuse and trolling activities. A moderation service identifies and then takes action against these kinds of posts in order to preserve brand image.

The best moderation solutions learn from experience, picking up how to deal with new situations to grow in intelligence. This is exactly what Crisp’s online moderation service does – our AI flags anything it identifies as a risk to our highly skilled Risk Analysts who take an action against the issue. Crisp’s technology then remembers how this previously uncertain situation was dealt with and from then on deals with it itself.

Are all moderation and monitoring services the same?

No. There are a wide range of social media moderation and monitoring tools available which rely on AI (artificial intelligence) to spot risks on your social media channels. As AI is still in its infancy, these plug-in tools will alert you to low-level risks such as swearing or gore images, but are not yet capable of spotting the threat in more complex risks like a negative brand mention that is spiraling into a PR crisis on the wider web.

At Crisp we provide a 24/7 managed service that quickly and accurately identifies risks to your brand - from customer complaints through to severely offensive material that can cause massive brand damage. We can also spot threats such as an activist planning an attack on your store, abuse towards your staff or hackers stealing and selling your customers’ data.

The only way to be certain of spotting these complex risks and alerting key people in the business fast enough to protect your brand’s reputation, is to use a moderation and monitoring provider which uses human moderators. At Crisp, we have a global team of Risk Analysts (moderators) who are experts at identifying these complex, business critical risks in social media content and alerting our clients to these major risks within 15 minutes.

To sum up…

Social media monitoring is purely an observational tool and can't change any aspect of what has been posted.

A monitoring service therefore cannot remove any mentions, it can only intervene by alerting you (by phone, email or text) to undesirable mentions (at Crisp we do this within 15 minutes of it being posted), so that you can remove the post, report it to the social platform, or respond directly yourself.

Moderation allows you to act on the content, not just be aware of it.

It is important to note that social media moderation can only be done on ‘owned channels’, i.e. on pages that a brand has control over, such as a Facebook page, YouTube channel or Instagram feed. It is impossible to remove anything posted on Twitter that is not placed there by the brand. Monitoring, rather than moderation, is what is needed to keep on top of brand-related tweets.


To find out more about managing both the positive and negatives of social media, download our free Marketing in a Social Age report.

For more information about taking action on social media risks, download our free Social Media Moderation Toolkit.