CBC to Outsource Comment Moderation
Is this a smart move for the Mothercorp? The in-house, human touch certainly seems like a more reliable and appropriate option for moderating comments on CBC.ca, but outsourcing it might make communication lines flow more openly and quickly -- something every 'commenter' would likely prefer.
In the near future, CBC.ca is going to implement software from a company called Pluck that will potentially allow comments on every story on the site. That’s a lot of comments – how to moderate?
According to Karen Wirsig at the Canadian Media Guild, CBC.ca has entered into a contract with ICUC Moderation of Winnipeg for web moderation services. The idea is to outsource the moderation of comments based on CBC’s policies, to ensure that turnaround times are reasonable, and the site can keep up with radically increased workloads.
CMG is concerned, however: for a decade now, this work has been done by journalists at CBC. Marc Philippe Laurin, CMG president of the CBC branch says he has asked for more information.
“We want to find out what’s the nature of the work, and exactly what these people will be doing, and what they define as moderation,” he said. “Whenever it has to do with content, it’s Guild territory. I understand that it’s not quite the same thing on the internet, with viewer feedback.” But he pointed out that shows like As It Happens, which use talkback lines for listener feedback, are handled by CMG staff. “We want to know why our folks couldn’t do it ourselves,” Laurin said.