PETALING JAYA: The internet and social media have become essential parts of most people’s lives. Platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram largely provide a safe zone for its users under the watchful eye of content moderators, who decide what should and should not be visible to the public.
Content moderator G. Elwyn said he does not allow or reject content based on personal preferences, but adheres to the policies adopted by the respective platforms.
“I believe all social media platforms have their policies on pornography, violence or vulgar content.
“Such social media content is a ‘no-no’, but the fact remains that different platforms may have different policies on age-restricted content or removals.
“So we don’t just remove videos because we don’t like it. We moderate content according to the policies imposed by the platform and if the content violates internal policies, it will be removed. Therefore, our ethics are subject to political differences,” he said.
However, Elwyn agreed that social media is dangerous for children since internet users have the freedom to upload anything at any time without verification.
He urged parents to play a role in guiding their children by activating child safety devices so that their children do not have access to explicit content such as pornography and violence.
“On most social media platforms, the user can upload content immediately and not have to wait three days for it to be processed or approved.
“As such, parents should play (a more active role) in this area rather than relying solely on content moderators. If parents want to protect their children from viewing explicit content, they should either use child safety features offered by social media platforms or not provide mobile phones to their children.
In response to Elwyn’s comments, LGMS Berhad President and cybersecurity expert Fong Choong Fook noted that content moderation policies should be accompanied by fundamental rules that never deviate from the law, even if they differ from platform to platform.
He said content creators should be given guidelines on what to post as social media is an open platform with a diverse user base that includes teens and children.
“There should be guidelines for content creators on what they should post. For example, in terms of pornography, we’ve seen comics with adult content. So teens and young people can easily access all these inappropriate comics,” Fong said.
“Social media is currently unable to filter out scammers and fraudsters. For example, housekeeping agencies that offer cleaning services require users to download apps that are mostly run by scammers. Such scams happen almost every day, but social media platforms do not block this type of advertising. »
He added that parent awareness is important in shaping the ability of future generations to discern scams and access the right content instead of blaming social media when their children push the boundaries.
“Many parents give their children full access without controlling the websites they visit. Parental supervision and education is also essential to ensure that children understand the content they are allowed to access.