Spiral of silence and confusion with nicknames: what linguistic difficulties do moderators face?

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Language, distortions and AI

First, a little theory. Language is simply a means of access to cognitive processes. In other words, it is language in particular that preserves human experience and cognition.

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It’s all about Context

Automatic moderation systems are also based on AI. Sometimes this is simpler AI, and at other times it is more complex and trainable. For pre-moderation, the cognitive side of language becomes the main stumbling block. The issue comes to a head at the moment when a system encounters meaning: a single word can have different semantic shades which are dependent entirely upon context.

Mexican striker Javier Hernandez wears his nickname ‘Chicharito’ on his shirt
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Fully-free communities and self-censorship

It might seem that if there is no moderation within a community, allowing absolutely free speech to flourish, then users will feel free and maximally able to engage in self-expression. But in fact such things as self-censorship and a spiral of silence can kick in, making this less than true. When people find themselves part of a minority — even in an online community — they tend to hide their point of view so as not to be ostracized.

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