You don’t have to spend too much time around internet forums and message
boards to become a little disappointed with the behaviour of some users. Protected by a cloak of
anonymity, many otherwise inconsequential and ineffectual individuals take on a persona which can cause serious
problems of the owners of those forums and message boards. Keeping an eye on what’s being said, and removing
offensive, damaging or libellous comment is a 24 hour a day job, and that’s where ICUC Moderation comes in.
ICUC moderation was set up by Canadian businessman Keith Bilous in 2002, and employs over 200 home based
moderators. The company has a $10 Million turnover and works for a number of bluechip clients including Starbucks,
Chevron and the Boston Globe who can’t afford to be associated with offensive, abusive and libellous material.
Until the anonymity issue is resolved (one of my personal hobby horses, but we won’t go into that!) there will
always be a need for this sort of moderation service. Many sites use ad hoc, informal arrangements for handling
this issue. There could definitely be a gap in the market for someone to ‘professionalise’ this sort of service for
businesses outside of the upper echelons.