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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

If your app or website allows its users to upload images that can be viewed by other users, then no doubt you’ve already realized how important it is to moderate user-submitted images. Human nature being what it is, users can’t necessarily be trusted to stick to community guidelines. Images can be moderated in two ways, either automatically or manually.

Here we’ll explain the difference between automatic and manual image moderation. We’ll describe how each of these is done and which options you’ll want to select when moderating images for your app or website.

First, let’s mention that neither manual nor automatic image moderation is better than the other process. Both work well and give you satisfactory results. As we’ll see below, some pros and cons apply to each process. 

Manual Image Moderation

When we talk about manual image moderation, we mean that the user needs to visually inspect each image and decide whether or not it contains elements that need to be mitigated, such as gory or violent images or frank nudity. A content moderator would then manually approve or reject images before they’re viewable to other users.

Pros Of Manual Moderation

  • Conscious judgment
  • Moderation may be customized; for example, a human content moderator might allow images that are medically graphic as opposed to violent graphic images
  • Moderators can judge images on quality as well as appropriateness
  • More accurate than automatic moderation

Cons Of Manual Moderation

  • Human error is still possible
  • Requires extra resources
  • Takes longer than automated image moderation

Automated Image Moderation

If your app or website receives a large volume of image submissions every day and has to publish them within a reasonable time frame, you might consider automated image moderation. This process uses real-time image moderation and video moderation API, which you’ll integrate with your website or app.

You can also use services to help you sort through images efficiently. With the use of AI, these services can learn from customized data sets and get smart enough to moderate images appropriately.

Pros Of Automated Moderation:

  • Duplicate content is automatically detected and eliminated
  • Images can be auto-enhanced
  • Inappropriate content is automatically detected and eliminated
  • No human moderation is needed
  • Quick and efficient

Cons Of Automated Moderation:

  • AI can be trained but is not conscious
  • APIs and services may be expensive
  • Custom moderation may require human assistance

Which Is Right For You?

image moderation

Whether you choose an automated or manual image, moderation will depend mainly on what your business requires. If your organization needs to moderate hundreds or thousands of images daily, the volume will probably require you to use automated image moderation. Owners of smaller apps, blogs, and businesses who only need to moderate a few images every day will most likely find it more cost-effective to use manual moderation. If you’re unable to moderate pictures yourself, you can hire a human moderator hourly.

Now you know the difference between manual and automated image moderation. With the pros and cons of each explained you should be able to tell which is right for you.

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