User-generated content (UGC) is published information that an unpaid contributor has provided to a web site. The information might be a photo, video, blog or discussion forum post, poll response or comment made through a social media web site.
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Commercial media's growing reliance on user-generated content has led to some controversy in the publishing world. Some organizations monitor user-generated content carefully for profanities, lies and attacks on other contributors. Others let users self-police their content.
Critics point out that the content quality of amateur contributors can be inconsistent, but the user-generated content movement has also been praised for allowing website visitors to lend their voices to news coverage. In contrast to a traditional one-to-many media arrangement, some media organizations are basing their entire business models upon UGC, encouraging unpaid contributors to provide content that the media organization can republish, promote and profit from.