See our Outsourcing Provider Directory here

Definitive Guide to Content Moderation

Guide to Content Moderation
Image by on Freepik

User-generated content is one of the main forces driving the ever-evolving digital world. These days, people often trust information from organizations and companies less than the opinions of individuals published online.

Marketers need a mechanism to monitor the material hosted on their platforms, as people all around the world upload unimaginable amounts of text, photos, and video every day. It is essential to monitor social impacts on brand perception, adhere to official requirements, and provide a secure and reliable environment for your customers.

The best way to do all of that is through content moderation. It assists internet companies in giving their customers a secure and wholesome environment.

What is content moderation?

Content moderation[1] refers to the process of filtering objectionable information that people upload to a platform. The procedure comprises content monitoring through the application of pre-established rules. Systems in place help flag content, potentially for deletion. A variety of factors may be at play, such as hate speech, aggressiveness, violence, extremism, nudity, and copyright violations.

Maintaining the brand’s Trust and Safety program and making the platform safe to use are the two main objectives of content moderation. Social media, dating websites and apps, markets, forums, and other similar platforms all make extensive use of content moderation.

Why is content moderation important?

Platforms relying on user-generated content find it challenging to keep pace with the vast volume of objectionable and indecent text, photos, and videos created every second.

The only method to maintain your brand’s website per your standards and safeguard your reputation and clientele is through content moderation. You can ensure your platform fulfills its intended function rather than serving as a venue for spam, violent content, and graphic material with its assistance.

  • Create new
    operating models

    It takes 20 seconds

  • Get Quote

What Does a Content Moderator Do?

Ensuring that all user-generated content (UGC) on your platform is free of scams and illegal content, as well as not detrimental to your user base, is the responsibility of a social media content moderator. Real-time content moderators check user-generated material to make sure it complies with community norms and business standards.

You may moderate content in two different ways.

Manual content moderation: All of your content is combed through and screened by a human moderator who looks for offensive, unlawful, improper, or dangerous stuff. These social media moderators should go through an exhaustive procedure that helps in picking up on slang or minute details. However, the drawback is that manual moderation takes a lot longer than at least a semi-automated procedure, particularly if your platform has a large amount of user-generated content.

Automated content moderation: User-generated content is filtered by artificial intelligence to remove anything that should be removed in automated content moderation. Teams may optimize the process of content moderation with the use of AI. Your platform will be safer if you use AI for content moderation, as it can swiftly detect and remove stuff that should be deleted. If hiring or designating a moderator is outside of your budget, AI can be a smart place to start because it’s becoming better at deriving meaning from words.

The key responsibilities of the content moderator[2] include the following:

Content screening: Every user-generated material on your platform is vetted by a content moderator. They keep an eye on every section of your platform—including chat, comments, live streaming, and community forums—where users can post or publish content created by themselves. Your moderator will supervise the process to ensure correct moderation if you employ AI for content moderation.

Applying company policy: What language and material are prohibited on your platform are specified in community rules and corporate policies. A thorough comprehension of such regulations is necessary for a content moderator to decide what content to delete and how to deal with problematic users.

Identifying new ways to moderate content: Since content moderators are at the forefront of content moderation companies, they understand how to maximize the impact of their work. For instance, your content moderator can suggest that new technologies be used, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to simplify identifying information or suggest that developers create a more powerful filtering feature.

Improve application
  • Set up a call to talk about how we can help.

    It takes 15 seconds

  • Click Here

The pros and cons of Content moderation

Pros of pre-moderation

  1. Prevents harmful and insulting content

    Online communities are shielded from hazardous and objectionable information via pre-moderation. Before anything is submitted and seen by the public, moderators can examine and remove objectionable information, including hate speech, cyberbullying, and fake news.

  2. Continues to have excellent conversations

    Moderators remove inferior content during pre-moderation to make room for superior content. High-quality information encourages debates that are targeted, pertinent, and educational. Any content that has a spammy quality and detracts from the main topic of debate is considered low-quality. It is particularly helpful for blogs, social media sites, and forums where individuals may express their ideas.

  3. Increases User Trust

    An online platform can get a certain amount of confidence from its users through pre-moderation. Users are more likely to feel comfortable posting or participating in a debate when they are aware that information is evaluated before it is published. A closer relationship between the platform and its users as a consequence of this trust may boost engagement and loyalty.

  4. Safeguards against legal problems

    Pre-moderation aids in preventing user-generated content-related legal problems. Pre-moderation guards against lawsuits, fines, and penalties for the platform by removing offensive or unlawful material. In particular, Content Moderation safeguards the reputation of the platform and guarantees brand protection.

Cons of pre-moderation

  1. Delays the publishing process

    Pre-moderation’s primary drawback is that it might cause the publication process to drag on. Moderators must examine and approve each piece of material, which might take some time. It can be particularly troublesome for real-time systems like social media, where users are used to receiving responses and interactions right away.

  2. Possibly costly

    Pre-moderation can be an expensive procedure, particularly for sites with a high volume of content created by users. The cost of hiring moderators or outsourcing the moderating process might be high because of the associated personnel expenses and the requirement for extra resources like software or tools. Small enterprises or startups who need more funding for this could be a hindrance.

  3. Danger of repression

    Pre-moderation may result in censorship, particularly if the moderators lack the necessary skills to deal with contentious issues or opposing viewpoints. It can lead to a bias toward particular ideas or beliefs without sufficient internal standards or training, which can be harmful to productive conversations. It includes self-censorship when people decide not to publish because they believe their submissions won’t be accepted. Pre-moderation can severely restrict free speech and expression, which would impede the platform’s development.

  4. May deter user participation

    Pre-moderation has the potential to reduce user engagement, particularly if users perceive that their material is often ignored or suppressed. It may result in decreased user activity, a decline in engagement, or even a loss of users. Furthermore, pre-moderation may put off new users who would otherwise be reluctant to utilize a platform with stringent content policies.

  5. Danger of uneven mediation

    Lack of explicit content rules might lead to subjective and uneven pre-moderation. Guidelines should remove the moderators’ prejudices and opinions from the moderating process. Subjectivity can result in unfairness and a lack of transparency, which can damage users’ faith in the platform. Moreover, this may lead to user misunderstanding and annoyance as well as charges of prejudice or discrimination.

Content moderation tools for businesses

  1. Hive

    A comprehensive range of services for text, audio, visual, and AI-generated content identification and Content Moderation are provided by Hive. Its moderating tools enable moderators to apply filters for language, noise, and PII usage in addition to detecting bullying, sexual, hate, violence, and spam material.

    In addition to supporting moderation in seven languages—English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, German, Portuguese, and French—Hive connects with additional APIs. Trust and safety teams may easily manage numerous solutions throughout their platform in an integrated manner with the help of Hive’s moderation dashboard.

  2. Stream Auto-Moderation

    With low work, maximum coverage, and AI-driven message flagging, moderation teams can detect, monitor, and handle hazardous material with the use of Stream’s Auto-Moderation API. Its robust machine-learning algorithms and customizable regulations allow it to adjust to the specific needs and expectations of your community.

    In addition to the typical content moderation capabilities and dashboards designed with moderators in mind, Auto-Moderation now includes sentiment analysis and behavioral nudge moderating functionalities that streamline the process of flagging, evaluating, and suppressing material for a wide range of use cases, including live streaming and gaming.

  3. WebPurify

    WebPurify modifies text, video, pictures, and metaverse information to make the Internet a safer environment for kids. To assist your company, they provide a special hybrid Content Moderation system that combines advanced AI with a group of external human moderators.

    With real-time detection and removal of objectionable content and undesired photos, WebPurify’s Automated Intelligent Moderation (AIM) API solution provides security against the dangers associated with having user-generated content on brand channels, the around-the-clock. In addition to offering a one-click CMS plug-in, bespoke block, and allow lists, email, phone, and URL filters, they support fifteen different languages.


    With the help of the conversational AI platform, companies can conduct safe, efficient, and interesting discussions with their target audience on a large scale. The firm offers content moderation solutions driven by artificial intelligence (AI), which include configurable filters, outsourced human moderation, picture moderation, and comment moderation that marketers can utilize to interact with and serve their people on the internet.

    To enable companies to interact safely within their services and socially with prospects and customers, Pattr offers users round-the-clock online help and facilitates easy integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  5. Sightengine

    Sightengine is an expert in providing real-time anonymization and moderation for images and videos in order to safeguard users. The technology that AI drives is not limited to identifying explicit content, gore, or nudity.

    In addition to classifying those items into a “Standard” category, the program also identifies stuff that isn’t ideal for user experience, such as duplicate content, low-quality photographs, persons wearing sunglasses in shots, and more. It is a quick, scalable, and simple-to-implement solution that takes great satisfaction in its high-security compliance requirements and Content Moderation accuracy.

Benefits of a Content Moderator in Product Development

A scalable content moderation procedure that enables you to assess a statement’s toxicity by considering its context is necessary. Examining the user profile, responses, photos, videos, and any links in the post is all part of the process, as is looking up any unusual phrases.

If the content turns out to be harmful, this helps you categorize it appropriately. Selecting a content moderation provider who adheres to this procedure is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Keep users and your brand safe

    It is necessary to keep an eye on the material that users upload to your website, whether it be images, videos, or remarks on blog entries and forums. The user-generated material may diverge from what your brand considers appropriate.

    Though you can’t always control what people publish on your website, you can always control what they believe about your business. Having a group of content moderators in place would guarantee that nothing objectionable or distressing appears on your website. Additionally, it will shield your audience from any harassment or trolling by certain crazy people.

  • Recognize your users and customers.

    Moreover, moderating user-generated material may be a great way to identify patterns. It is particularly true for campaigns with a large volume of information that your moderators may categorize with specific attributes like opinions, brand attitudes, and more.

    The content moderation staff may provide useful insights regarding user behavior and opinions using this information. It may also assist you in identifying any aspects of your brand that require development.

  • Boost your internet presence.

    According to statistics, connections to user-generated content account for 25% of search results from some of the biggest businesses worldwide. You must have this material, but you also need to make sure that it won’t damage your brand’s reputation.

    Let people upload as much stuff as they like, but make sure you have a staff of moderators who are committed to going through and editing all of the material before it is posted on your website. If it doesn’t include anything objectionable or contradictory to your brand, it can bring some high-quality visitors to your website.

  • Expand Campaigns

    Use user-generated content to increase the effectiveness of your sales and marketing initiatives. You can grow your campaigns without worrying about damaging your brand with the support of a strong content control program.

    If your brand depends on user-submitted videos like it would when holding a contest to increase brand awareness, you’ll need a scalable method for vetting and approving such content. It would guarantee that hiring more employees is optional for the AWS Content Moderation process.

  • Enhance purchasing habits and processes.

    In this digital age, advertisements on TV, radio, and print media might have less of an impact on consumer behavior or ability to persuade. With more users using ad blockers on their browsers, traditional approaches like pop-ups, auto-play movies, banners, and other forms don’t perform any better. Reaching them becomes more challenging for businesses due to these ad blockers.

    User-generated content on your website has a higher chance of introducing potential customers to your business than digital advertisements. What other people are saying about your brand is what they want to see. These days, it’s usual for prospective customers to ask other customers for advice or recommendations before deciding what to buy.

  • Improve interactions with customers.

    If your website has material written by actual users or customers, you could expect improved customer relations and increased trustworthiness. You can only have a genuine, personable, relatable, and friendly brand with well-moderated material on your website. Your fan base will want to join you if your brand is worth talking about.

Methods of content moderation


Pre-moderation entails designating moderators to review content contributions from your audience before their public release. Pre-moderation was used if you’ve ever attempted to remark, and it was prevented from being published.

This technique applies to all kinds of media posts as well as comments on goods and services. In order to safeguard the online community from harm or legal threats that might have a detrimental effect on both consumers and the business, it is important to make sure that the material complies with specific requirements.


Real-time content uploads are permitted with post-moderation, and users can report anything that they believe to be dangerous after it has already happened.

Following the reports, a person will review the reported content or, if required, remove it through an AI content moderation system. Similar to pre-moderation, the AI review method deletes hazardous information automatically based on predetermined criteria.

Reactive moderation

There are “house rules” that have been created in certain online groups. Members of these communities are expected to report any content that they deem to be offensive, undesired, or in violation of the rules.

We refer to this method as reactive moderation. It can be used in conjunction with pre- and post-moderation techniques as an additional safety measure if the AI system overlooks anything. Reactive moderation is most frequently utilized as a stand-alone moderation technique, especially in close-knit online groups.

Distributed moderation

One form of user-generated content moderation that is still relatively uncommon is distributed Content Moderation. Typically, it uses a rating system that allows community members to cast their votes on whether or not entries adhere to the community’s standards or the use guidelines. It permits community members to have the majority of control over comments and forum postings, often under the direction of more seasoned senior moderators.

Content moderation FAQs

What does content moderation mean?

The task of content moderation involves checking user-posted material on a platform for improper content. The intention is to protect users from any content that might be harmful or improper and damage the online reputation of the platform on which it was published.

How does content moderation work?

Content moderation may be carried out automatically with AI systems for accurate content moderation[3] or manually by human moderators who have been trained on what content has to be eliminated as inappropriate. For quicker and more effective outcomes, a combination of automatic and manual content moderation may be employed in some situations.

What are examples of content moderation?

When content is intended for minors, content control becomes imperative. In this situation, it is necessary to closely monitor and mark as unsuitable any distressing, violent, or graphic content. It is possible to moderate text, photos, videos, and live broadcasts.

Challenges of content moderation

These days, some businesses have retaliated by hiring outside agencies that have legions of human content moderators and the newest technology to scour social media and conventional media for fraudulent, viral, user-generated material.

But the main obstacles to content control are as follows:

Effect on content moderators’ emotional health: Because they frequently view graphic, horrifying, and severe content, content moderators are more likely to have traumatic stress disorder and mental exhaustion.

Need to take action immediately: Because of the instantaneous nature of platforms and the volume of material being published, it takes a lot of work for an AI-augmented human model to respond quickly.

A hyperlocal approach to content regulation is necessary due to regulatory restrictions that are inconsistent with the diverse cultural context and linguistic semantics of Content Moderation.

Outsourcing: The Key to Scaling Success.


Effective content moderation, on the one hand, makes an online community safer and more welcoming by eliminating offensive information and making sure members are appreciated and at ease. However, overly stringent or uneven content filtering might irritate users, give them a sense of restriction, and make their experience unpleasant.

For this reason, Outsourcing Center works in consultation with its clients to define their community norms and brand values. Our mission is to assist you in defining and enforcing the standards of what constitutes appropriate behavior in your community, not to ban any information.

For more information about Content Moderation, feel free to check out our other related articles:

Reference Links

Get 3 Free Quotes Logo

  • Save 70%
  • Unrivaled expertise
  • Verified leading firms
  • Transparent, safe, secure

Get Started

Small Teams Call Logo

Start your Outsourcing Journey in 15 seconds.

Get Started

Enterprise & Large
Teams Call

Explore with an Enterprise Expert

  • Independent
  • Trusted
  • Transparent

Dive into “Outsourcing”

A Guide to … Selecting the Correct Business Unit … Negotiating the Contract … Maintaining Control of the Process

Order now

"*" indicates required fields

Start your outsourcing journey.

Book a call with an outsourcing expert now

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

This guide will walk you through some areas most important when outsourcing, such as
  • Identifying Your Outsourcing Needs Intelligently
  • Research & Selection
  • The Bidding Process
  • Contracts & Agreements
  • Implementation & Onboarding
  • Ongoing Management
  • Evaluating Success
  • Additional Resources

Book a call with an outsourcing expert now

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Become an OC Partner
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Media Inquiries for OC
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Subscribe to our Newsletter
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Submit Press Release
Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 8 MB.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Submit an Article
Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 8 MB.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

Request Ben Trowbridge as a Keynote Speaker
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Go to standard quote

Exclusive Enterprise Assistance

  • Independent
  • Trusted
  • Transparent

Offshore staffing solutions for enterprise. Independent expertise, advice & implementation

  • 200+ Firms, Global Reach
  • Offshore, Nearshore, Onshore, Rightshore
  • Managed Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Assisted Procurement Processes
  • Vendor Management
  • Unique Build Operate Transfer model
  • Captive & Shared Services
  • Champion-Challenger
  • Multi-site, multi-vendor, multi-source
  • Managed Solutions

For Enterprise and large teams only

  • Book 20-minute consult, obligation free

You will get:

  • Needs Analysis & Report
  • Salary Guidance & Indicative Pricing
  • Process Map

Only takes 1 minute to complete the form

Get Started

Not an enterprise?

Go to standard quote