background removal api

Image Background Removal API | What Is It? How Does It Work?

Image recognition based on Artificial Intelligence is changing the way many industries are going about their business — and it’s also making life easier for end consumers too. 

A great example of how machine learning algorithms come in handy in our day-to-day work and leisure activities is image background removal. Gone are the days when we manually had to erase the background and cut out objects from a photo with painstaking efforts. Automatic image background removal can get that done in no time — and with no manual work on our side. 

In the current guide, you can find out the essentials about picture background removal and how an API based on Artificial Intelligence can be of immense help in your visual tasks. 

What Is Image Background Removal? 

Professionals across many industries — including advertising, e-commerce, and marketing, among others — need to remove the background of images on a regular basis. The uses of background removal for photos are so numerous that it’s difficult to even list them — from social media and website images for brands to birthday greetings cards, and everything in between. 

In fact, image background removal is a necessity for a wide range of professionals today. Online stores, fashion and design websites, interior design websites, and content management systems are just a few of the extra examples — on top of traditional graphic designers and different types of digital marketers. Media content managers, developers and car dealers are a couple of other professionals whose jobs may entail image background removal. 

Background removal is also a necessity for many people who want to experiment with their personal photo collections. Users like to create image collages and make their extensive photo libraries come to life — be it for a family reunion presentation, a personalized greeting card, or a special gift to loved ones. 

Previously, the only way to extract the background from a visual was to use an advanced software solution like Adobe Photoshop. You had to cut out the desired objects by hand through selecting the contours around them via point setting. For inexperienced graphic designers, it was a slow and tedious process that often did not yield the desired results. It sometimes even ended up in strange cutouts that seemed as though done by a child. 

Visual solutions have advanced tremendously and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as online tools like Canva, offer easier ways to tackle background removal. And yet, there’s still manual work to be done with precision and at least some experience.  

For graphic designers, photographers, and marketers who work on tight schedules, taking the time to remove image backgrounds by hand can turn into a nightmare. They need quick and effective methods for taking care of mundane tasks like this one — and ideally, with a single click.  

image background removal api

What Is an Image Background Removal API?

Instead of removing backgrounds from images by hand, you can use advanced AI-based solutions that get the job done with no fuss. That’s what, in essence, is a background remover API. 

1. How Does It Work?

The API is powered by machine learning algorithms that enable the so-called computer vision — which in turn allows for the quick and automatic recognition of objects in visuals. The software is trained to identify objects, people, places, elements, actions, backgrounds, and more. The more images are processed through the algorithm, the better it becomes at spotting different details. 

On the basis of these capabilities, image recognition can be applied for a wide variety of automation tasks — image categorization, cropping, color extraction, visual search, facial recognition, and many more, including seamless background removal. 

The AI-powered platform can recognize the objects and their outlines within an image with unseen accuracy — and to smoothly separate them from the background against which they have been photographed or placed. 

2. Benefits and Uses of an Image Background Removal API

The benefits of automatic background removal are numerous:

  • High quality and utmost precision of object cutouts
  • Fully automatic process with a single API request
  • Processing of thousands of images at once via the API implementation
  • Saving tons of time and money for businesses 
  • Enabling creativity for professionals and regular users alike

As noted earlier, background removal is a common task that is required across different industries and activities. Automatic removal with an image recognition API is thus useful for many types of professionals, as well as for end users

Professional photographers and graphic designers may as well become the biggest fans of automatic background removal. They can focus their time on actually taking photos and creating visual assets rather than on their tedious technical processing — as the API can help optimize their workflows. 

Marketing and advertising experts are the next in row. Visuals are powering up all social media, and nowadays there are barely any posts without images because they perform much better than text. That’s why marketers rely heavily on them — and background removal is a common task they need to take care of before sharing a visual on their brand’s channel. 

Online shops, auto dealers, fashion and design platforms, and all kinds of e-commerce businesses are another set of common users for a background remover API. They all need to process visuals in order to sell their goods and services — and removing unwanted backgrounds from images is a typical task. With automatic removal, they can save time on these mundane jobs, while optimizing their online catalog for higher conversion. 

Last but not least, both traditional and online media need image background removal in their daily work. Editorial visuals often have to be cropped, cleaned, and processed in different ways, including removing any elements in the background. In particular, media content editors regularly have to separate objects and people from photos to include them in news reports — be it during an election campaign or for announcing a novelty.  

How to Use an API Background Removal?

Getting started with Imagga’s picture background removal API is a simple process. Sign up for our private beta testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an image background removal API?

An image background removal API to remove backgrounds from images I is a tool that allows you to process thousands of photos for background removal at once — with the help of Artificial Intelligence. 

How to integrate a background removal API?

It's not difficult to integrate Imagga’s picture background removal API. You can sign up with us today and send requests to our REST API through your Imagga profile straight away. Sign up for our private beta testing.


Image Tagging

Image Tagging | What Is It? How Does It Work?

The digital world is a visual one — and making sense of it is based on the premise of quick visual searching. Companies and users alike need effective ways to discover visuals by using verbal cues like keywords. Image tagging is the way to realize that, as it enables the classification of visuals through the use of tags and labels. This allows for the quick searching and identifying of images, as well as the adequate categorization of visuals in databases. 

For both businesses and individuals, it’s essential to know what their visual content contains. This is how people and companies can sort through the massive amounts of images that are being created and published online constantly — and use them accordingly. 

Here is what image tagging constitutes — and how it can be of help for your visual database. 

Image Tagging
Photo by Soragrit Wongsa on Unsplash

What Is Image Tagging?

From stock photography and advertising to travel and booking platforms, a wide variety of businesses have to operate with huge volumes of visual content on a daily basis. Some of them also operate with user-generated visual content that may also need to be tagged and categorized. 

This process becomes manageable through the use of picture tagging. It allows the effective and intuitive search and discovery of relevant visuals from large libraries on the basis of preassigned tags. 

At its core, image tagging simply entails setting keywords for the elements that are contained in a visual. For example, a wedding photo will likely have the tags ‘wedding’, ‘couple’, ‘marriage’, and the like. But depending on the system, it may also have tags like colors, objects, and other specific items and characteristics in the image — including abstract terms like ‘love’, ‘relationship’, and more. 

Once visuals have assigned keywords, users and businesses can enter words relevant to what they’re looking for into a search field to locate the images they need. For example, they can enter the keyword ‘couple’ or ‘love’ and the results can include photos like the wedding one from the example above. 

It’s important to differentiate between image tagging and metadata. The latter typically contains technical data about an image, such as height, width, resolution, and other similar parameters. Metadata is automatically embedded in visual files. On the other hand, tagging entails describing with keywords what is visible in an image.  

How Does Image Tagging Work?

The process of picture tagging entails the identification of people, objects, places, emotions, abstract concepts, and other attributes that may pertain to a visual. They are then ascribed to the visual with the help of predefined tags. 

When searching within an image library, users can thus write the keywords they are looking for, and get results based on them. This is how people can get easy access to visuals containing the right elements that they need. 

With the development of new technology, photo tagging has evolved to a complex process with sophisticated results. It not only identifies the actual items, colors and shapes contained in an image, but an array of other characteristics. For example, image tagging can include the general atmosphere portrayed in an image, concepts, feelings, relationships, and much more.  

This high level of complexity that image tagging can offer today allows for more robust image discovery options. With descriptive tags attached to visuals, the search capabilities increase and become more precise. This means people can truly find the images they’re after. 

Applications of Image Tagging

Photo tagging is essential for a wide variety of digital businesses today. E-commerce, stock photo databases, booking and travel platforms, traditional and social media, and all kinds of other companies need adequate and effective image sorting systems to stay on top of their visual assets. 

Image tagging is helpful for individuals too. Arranging and searching through personal photo libraries is tedious, if not impossible, without user-friendly image categorization and keyword discoverability. 

Types of Image Tagging

Back in the day, image tagging could only be done manually. When working with smaller amounts of visuals, this was still possible, even though it was a tedious process. 

In manual tagging, each image has to be reviewed. Then the person has to set the relevant keywords by hand — often from a predefined list of concepts. Usually it’s also possible to add new keywords if necessary. 

Today, image tagging is automated with the help of software. Automated photo tagging, naturally, is unimaginably faster and more efficient than the manual process. It also offers great capabilities in terms of sorting, categorizing and content searching. 

Instead of a person sorting through the content, an auto image tagging solution processes the visuals. It automatically assigns the relevant keywords and tags on the basis of the findings supplied by the computer vision capabilities. 

Auto Tagging

AI-powered image tagging — also known as auto tagging — is at the forefront of innovating the way we work with visuals. It allows you to add contextual information to your images, videos and live streams, making the discovery process easier and more robust. 

How It Works

Imagga’s auto tagging platform allows you to automatically assign tags and keywords to items in your visual library. The solution is based on computer vision, using a deep learning model to analyze the pixel content of every photo or video. In this way, the platform identifies the features of people, objects, places and other items of interest. It then assigns the relevant tag or keyword to describe the content of the visual. 

The deep learning model in Imagga’s solution operates on the basis of more than 7,000 common objects. It thus has the ability to recognize the majority of items necessary to identify what’s contained in an image. 

In fact, the image recognition model becomes more and more precise with regular use. It ‘learns’ from processing hundreds and thousands of visuals — and from receiving human input on the accuracy of the keywords it suggests. This makes using auto tagging a winning move that not only pays off, but also improves with time.  

Benefits

Automated image tagging is of great help to businesses that rely on image searchability. It saves immense amounts of time and effort that would otherwise be wasted in manual tagging — which may not be even plausible, given the gigantic volumes of visual content that has to be sorted.

Auto tagging allows companies not only to boost their image databases, but to be able to scale their operations as they need. With automated image tagging, businesses can process millions of images — which enables them to grow without technical impediments.  

Examples

You can try out our generic model demo to explore the capabilities of Imagga’s auto tagging solution. You can insert your own photo or use one of the examples to check out how computer vision can easily identify the main items in an image. 

picture tag

In the example above, the image contains a pink flower with an insect on it. The image tagging solution processes the visual in no time, supplying you with tags containing major concepts. You also get the accuracy percentage of each identified term. 

The highest ranking ones typically include the basics about the image — such as the object or person and the main details about them. Further down the list of generated tags, you can also find colors, shapes, and other terms describing what the computer vision ‘sees’ in the picture. They can also include notions about space, time, emotions, and similar. 

Image Tagging for Adobe Lightroom

To make the life of professionals working with photography easier, Imagga created an automatic image tagging plugin for Adobe Lightroom — Wordroom. With its help, sorting through gigantic visual collections becomes faster, easier, and much more manageable. Photographers and editors can easily add keywords to each image, making it discoverable within the software. 

The plugin provides automated photo keywording based on computer vision technology. Wordroom can suggest up to 30 keywords thanks to its image recognition algorithm. Users can select the keywords they need or keep them all. 

As in other image tagging processes, the Wordroom plugin can recognize different elements within an image. These include people, objects, colors, shapes, and actions, as well as emotions, atmosphere, abstract concepts, and themes. 

Wordroom is optimized for use with stock photos, so it is of particular interest for stock photographers working with Adobe Lightroom. At the same time, it’s also available to regular users and other types of professionals too. The same AI-based technology powers Imagga’s image recognition and categorization solutions for stock photography and videography websites like Unsplash too. 

How to Improve Auto Tagging with Custom Training

The best perk of auto tagging is that it can get better with time. The deep learning model can be trained with additional data to recognize custom items and provide accurate tagging in specific industries. 

With Imagga’s custom training, your auto tagging system can learn to identify custom items that are specific for your business niche. You can set the categories to which visual content should be assigned. 

Custom training of your auto tagging platform allows you to fully adapt the process to the particular needs of your operations — and to use the power of deep learning models to the fullest. In particular, it’s highly useful for businesses in niche industries or with other tagging particularities. 

Imagga’s custom auto tagging can be deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or on the Edge. 

FAQ

What is image tagging?

Image tagging is a method for assigning keywords to visuals, so they can be categorized. This, in turn, makes image discovery easier and smoother. 

What is image tagging used for?

Image tagging is used by users and companies alike. It is necessary for creating searchable visual libraries of all sizes — from personal photo collections to gigantic business databases.


What is Content Moderation

What Is a Content Moderator? Responsibilities, Skills, Requirements and more

The role of the content moderator in today’s digital world is a central one. Moderators take on the challenging task of reviewing user-generated content to ensure the safety and privacy of online platforms. They act, in a sense, as first-line responders who take care that our digital experiences are safe.  Read on to find out what is a content moderator!

The content moderation process, as a whole, is a complex one because it entails the thorough screening of various types of content that goes online. The purpose is to ensure the protection of platform users, safeguard the reputation of digital brands, and guarantee compliance with applicable regulations.  

In many cases, this means that content moderators have to go through every single piece of text, visual, video, and audio that’s being posted — or to review every report for suspicious content. 

What Is a Content Moderator?

Content moderators are crucial in the process of ensuring the safety and functionality of online platforms that rely on user-generated content. They have to review massive amounts of textual, visual, and audio data to judge whether it complies with the predetermined rules and guidelines for the safety of a website. 

Moderators help platforms uphold their Trust and Safety programs — and ultimately, provide real-time protection for their user base. Their efforts are focused on removing inappropriate and harmful content before it reaches users. 

In this sense, the role of content moderators is essential because their work shields the rest of us from being exposed to a long list of disturbing and illegal content, containing:

  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Violence 
  • Crimes 
  • Sexual exploitation 
  • Drug abuse 
  • Spam
  • Scam
  • Trolling
  • Various types of other harmful and offensive content 
what does a content moderator do
Photo by Headway on Unsplash

What Does a Content Moderator Do?

The job of the content moderator is a multifaceted one. While a large portion of it may consist of removing posts, it’s actually a more complex combination of tasks. 

On the practical level, content moderators use targeted tools to screen text, images, video, and audio that are inappropriate, offensive, illegal or harmful. Then they decide whether pieces of content or user profiles have to be taken down because they violate a platform’s rules or are outright spam, scam, or trolling.

In addition, content moderators may also reply to user questions and comments on social media posts, on brands’ blogs, and in forums. They can also provide protection from inappropriate content and harassment on social media pages

By doing all of this, moderators help uphold the ethical standards and maintain the legal compliance of digital businesses and online communities. Their timely and adequate actions are also essential in protecting the reputation of online platforms.    

As a whole, the job of the content moderator is to enable the development of strong and vibrant communities for digital brands where vulnerable users are protected and platforms keep their initial purpose.

What Types of User-Generated Content Does a Content Moderator Review?

The variety of user-generated content is growing by the day. This means that content moderators have to stay on top of all technological developments to be able to review them adequately. 

The main types of content that are being posted online today include text, images, video, and audio. They are the building blocks of all user-generated content. 

Yet the combinations between these formats are growing, with new ones emerging constantly. Just think of the news stories and live streams on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. 

Content moderators may also review some other content formats, such as:

  • User posts on forums 
  • Product and service reviews on ecommerce platforms and on forums
  • External links in social media posts
  • Comments on blog posts

With the development of new technology, the types of user-generated content that may need content moderation screening is bound to grow — increasing the importance of the review process for digital platforms.

Alternative Solutions to Using a Content Moderator

In recent years, the gigantic volume of content that has to be reviewed has pushed for major technological advancements in the field. They have become necessary to address the need for faster moderation of huge amounts of user-generated posts that go live — and for unseen levels of scalability.

This has led to the creation and growing popularity of automated content moderation solutions. With their help, moderation becomes quicker and more effective. AI-powered tools automate the most tedious steps of the process, while also protecting human moderators from the most horrific content. The benefits of moderation platforms are undoubtful — and complement the qualified and essential work of people in this field. 

Imagga’s content moderation platform, in particular, offers an all-around solution for handling the moderation needs of any digital platform — be it e-commerce, dating, or other. The pre-trained algorithms, which also learn on the go from every new moderation decision, save tons of work hours for human moderators. Machine learning has presented powerful capabilities to handle moderation in a faster and easier way — and with the option of self-improvement. 

As noted, content moderation often cannot be a fully automatic process — at least at this stage of technological development. There are many cases that require an actual individual to make a decision because there are so many ‘grey areas’ when it comes to content screening.

Imagga’s platform can be used by an existing moderation team to speed up their processes and make them safer and smoother. The hard work is handled by the AI algorithms, while people have to participate only in fine-tuning contentious decisions. 

In practice, this means the platform sifts through all posted content automatically. When it identifies clearly inappropriate content that falls within the predefined thresholds, it removes it straight away. If there is content, however, that is questionable, the tool forwards the item to a human moderator for a final decision. On the basis of the choices that people make in these tricky cases, the algorithm evolves and can cover even larger expanses. 

what is social media moderator
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Content Moderation Skills

While content moderation solutions have taken up a large part of the hardest work, the job of the content moderator remains irreplaceable in certain situations. It’s a role that is quite demanding and requires a wide range of skills. 

The basic task of the moderator is to figure out what content is permissible and what’s not — in accordance with the preset standards of a platform. This requires having sound judgment, so analytical skills are essential

To achieve this, moderators have to have a sharp eye for detail and a quick mind — so they can easily catch the elements within a piece of content that are inappropriate. On many occasions, it’s important to also be thick-skinned when it comes to disturbing content

The down-to-earth approach should be complemented with the ability to make the right contextual analysis. Beyond the universally offensive and horrible content, some texts and visuals may be inappropriate in one part of the world, while perfectly acceptable in another. 

In general, moderators should be good at overall community management, respecting the specificities and dynamics of particular groups. The best-case scenario is to have previous experience in such a role. This would equip one with the knowledge of communication styles and management approaches that preserve the core values of an online group. 

Multilingual support is often necessary too, having in mind the wide popularity of international platforms that host users from all over the world. That’s why moderators who know a couple of languages are in high demand. 

Last but not least, the content moderator's job requires flexibility and adaptability. The moderation process is a dynamic one — with constantly evolving formats, goals, and parameters. While complementing human moderators’ work, new technological solutions also require proper training. 

How to Become a Content Moderator?

As the previous section reveals, being a content moderator is not simply a mechanical task. In fact, it is a demanding role that requires a multifaceted set of skills. While challenging at times, it’s an important job that can be quite rewarding. 

To become a content moderator, one needs to develop:

  • Strong analytical skills for discerning different degrees of content compliance
  • Detail-oriented approach to reviewing sensitive content
  • Contextual knowledge and ability to adapt decision-making to different situations and settings 
  • A flexible approach to the moderation process, depending on emerging formats, trends and technology 

Moderators can work either for a specific brand or for a content moderation company that provides services for different types of businesses. This is the essential difference between in-house and external content moderation. The choice between the two options is a common conundrum — both for content moderators looking for a new position and for digital companies looking for a way to handle their moderation needs. 

In-house content moderators learn the nitty-gritty details for a single company. They become experts in dealing with the specific types of content that are published on a particular platform or on a brand’s social media channels. This typically makes them highly qualified in a certain industry.  

On the other hand, many companies choose to use external services from a content moderation provider instead of having in-house teams. Then moderators get assigned to different projects, which may be more than one at the same time. This can also be interesting because it entails varied work in a number of fields — and gaining different knowledge across the board. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Content Moderator?

Content moderators review user-generated content to remove offensive, inappropriate and harmful content before it reaches people online. They follow pre-defined sets of rules that platforms set to protect their users and maintain their reputation and legal compliance.

What Does a Content Moderator Do?

The social media moderator is a type of content moderator who focuses specifically on social media channels. They screen fake and malicious user profiles and remove spam, scam, and trolling from social media posts and comments. 

Do you have any questions about what is a content moderator? Let us know in the comment section or don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


How to Use Imagga’s CM Platform for Efficient Content Moderation Process

Content moderation (CM) is a priority for a wide variety of online platforms that want to ensure a safe environment for their users in line with their Trust and Safety programs. 

Imagga has the right solution for accomplishing just that. Our fully-automatic content moderation (or semi-automatic, if you decide to involve humans in the loop) is a powerful, easy-to-use and scalable option with whose help you can monitor all visual content that users generate on your platform. 

With Imagga, you overcome several crucial issues at once: 

  • The harm that unmoderated user-generated content can bring to both your users and your brand; 
  • The limitations of manual moderation that can’t cope with the ever-growing content volume;
  • The ethical problems and psychological burden on human content moderators caused by disturbing content. 

One of the superpowers of our platform is that it allows you to handle content in a faster and more efficient way than ever before. Quick moderation is essential for working with large amounts of content — and it’s important for boosting the productivity and growth trajectory of your online business. 

Let’s dig into the features and benefits that Imagga’s full-stack content moderation platform offers — and how to make the best of them for managing your visual and livestream content. 

The Tools in Imagga’s CM Platform 

Our content moderation platform consists of three modules. It is designed to flexibly accommodate your needs, combining automatic AI-powered moderation with the necessary input from your in-house or outsourced human moderators. 

The API (Application Programming Interface) is where the AI rolls sleeves to get the work done. It boasts self-improving state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms that identify inappropriate visual content on the basis of visual recognition technology. You can use the platform in the way that best suits your business operations and legal framework — in the cloud or on-premise. You can stick with just this API component if you don’t need human moderation. 

The Admin Dashboard is the web and mobile UI where you get all the functionalities and settings in one place. You can control the different aspects of the moderation process, so that you can skillfully combine the automatic features of the platform for filtering and flagging with human moderation whenever it’s necessary.  

The Moderation Interface is where your human moderators can easily interact with the CM platform. When they open Imagga Content Moderation UI, they’ll see the batches of items that have been assigned to them for moderation and will be able to act on them immediately.  

The API

Once you create an Imagga API account, you can securely analyze and moderate your visual data using our REST API. 

The AI-powered pre-trained model will start processing the information you provide for analysis and screening it for different categories of inappropriate content. You can set the categories for filtration flexibly, depending on your moderation goals. The best part is that the process is automated but the system can also learn on the go from the moderating decisions of human moderators, if such are involved in the process.

While you have the powerful Admin Dashboard from where you can control a broad range of settings for the content moderation process, you can also use the Admin API for that purpose — and not only for feeding items for moderation. You can: 

  • Create projects, add moderators, and set categories of inappropriate content and rules for moderation 
  • Access moderation items’ status and logs 

You can also import data from different sources through the API endpoints specified for this purpose. 

The Admin Dashboard: Your Control Hub

Sorting content for quick moderation is an easy and intuitive process with Imagga’s Admin Dashboard. 

When you open your dashboard, you have access to three important sections: Projects, Moderators, and Rules. Let’s review what you can do in each of them in detail. 

Projects 

In your Admin Dashboard, you can keep tabs on a number of projects at once. You can create a new project based on the different types of content (or supported language) you want to moderate. 

Let’s say that you want to use content moderation for your travel platform. You can set up, for example, two separate projects for the different streams of content — Accommodation Reviews for monitoring user reviews of properties, and Accommodation Photos for monitoring the visuals uploaded for each property. 

For each project, there are a number of settings you can control.

SLAs

You can choose the number of hours within which items in this project have to be moderated. 

This is especially useful when you have a single moderation team that needs to handle different projects simultaneously.

Priority Level

You can further prioritize a project by setting its overall priority level in your dashboard.

This priority level overrides the SLA setting, so it pushes a project up a moderator’s list. 

Batch Size

You can set the number of items that a moderator should handle at once when working on a project. Only when they complete one batch, they’ll be able to review the items from the next batch.

With this setting, you can manage the workload of your moderators, ensuring that content is reviewed in the best possible order too. 

Content Privacy 

You have two options for ensuring you meet GDPR and content privacy regulations — blurring faces of people and of car plates.

This setting is especially relevant if you’re working in a heavily regulated field. 

Retention Policy

You can choose how long an item stays in the system before it gets deleted.

This is necessary for the learning purposes of the AI algorithm, which improves over time based on moderators’ feedback on its previous work. 

Add Moderators

You can assign different moderators to different projects. Once you assign a moderator to a project, they’re allowed to flag items for all categories of inappropriate content in this project.

That’s how you make sure the right person is working on specific projects. It also helps you stay on top of managing moderators' workloads.  

Categories Management

You can set the different categories of inappropriate content that you’d like to moderate. You can create new categories and name them according to your platform’s needs. For example, you can set categories like ‘Inappropriate’, ‘Irrelevant’, and others.

For each category, you can choose different options for:

  • AI model for content moderation
  • Threshold range for forwarding an item to a human moderator - everything outside this range is considered as properly moderated in an automated fashion
  • Number of moderators to review a single item in this category, for ensuring better quality and less bias;
  • Excluding moderators you don’t want to work on a specific category within a project.

In addition, you can write down the guidelines for moderation of this specific category, so moderators can access them easily whenever they work on it. 

When you add a new category, it is added to the system in real-time, so it can be used immediately. 

Moderators

You can create profiles for the different moderators on your team. They consist of their name, photos, and the languages they use. 

You can set flexible rules individually for each moderator and assign priorities. You’re also able to review the number of items assigned to each person, as well as the rules.  

Rules

In the Rules section of the Admin Dashboard, you can create custom rules for your moderation process. 

For example, you can create rules for the different languages used and their priority levels. Then you can assign the rules to specific moderators - i.e. a certain person has to prioritize English-language content, while another one — Spanish. 

The Moderation Interface

The moderators on your team have access to Imagga’s CM platform through a dedicated interface — the Moderation web and mobile UI. 

When a moderator logs in, they can immediately see the assigned projects and the respective batches of items within each project. On the left hand side of their screen, they can review attributes of each item, like item ID and URL, and additional information like the date when the item was submitted for moderation. There is also an option to translate content if it’s not in English, which is great for multi-language moderation.

On the right hand side, the moderator can see the categories for moderation and click on the ones that the item belongs to, i.e. ‘Irrelevant’ or ‘Inappropriate’ — or alternatively, approve the item if it doesn’t breach your platform’s guidelines. 

Moderators can use hotkeys to make the moderation process as quick as possible. The reasons for inappropriateness of a visual are numbered from 1 to 9, so moderators can use that, or the Skip / Approve / Disapprove hotkeys. 

Ace Your Content Moderation with Imagga

With Imagga’s semi-automatic content moderation, you can combine the best of machine and human moderation in one. Our AI-powered system helps you optimize the moderation process, while also protecting moderators from vast amounts of harmful content. 

Don’t have an internal moderation team? Don’t worry — we can get you a highly-qualified external one too. 

Ready to give it a go? Get in touch with us to boost your content moderation with Imagga.

How to Use Imagga's CM Platform Video

https://youtu.be/FrZkIWkJ1lA

Automated Content Moderation

Automated Content Moderation | What Is It? Benefits, tools and more

Due to the gigantic amounts of user-generated content that goes online continuously, it’s difficult to stay on top of content moderation. Plus, the risks of exposing human moderators to harmful content make manual moderation less and less desirable. This is where automated content moderation comes in. 

Content moderation is crucial for the functioning of digital platforms today. It provides a much-needed safety net that protects online users from harmful and illegal content. 

The reasons are numerous: online businesses have a moral obligation to protect their users from inappropriate content, uphold their brand reputation as a secure space, and comply with applicable regulations that require the removal of illegal and offensive materials. 

What Is Automated Content Moderation?

Automated content moderation entails the use of technology to speed up the removal of inappropriate and harmful content and to automate the tedious tasks of reviewing every single posting by hand. 

While named ‘automated’, it consists of a mixture between algorithms and a final human review in most cases. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as a semi-automated. Technology does the heavy lifting, while the input of human moderators is necessary only after an automatic prescreening or in certain situations. 

Automating the process of content moderation is done by using AI-powered algorithms. They identify inappropriate content on the basis of previously fed data. 

The moderation platform filters content by recognizing illegal, sexually explicit or harmful elements in visuals, text, videos and even live streams. Depending on the thresholds for moderation, it may prompt for human input for cases that cannot be discerned by the AI. 

Benefits of Automated Content Moderation

The advantages of using automated moderation are numerous. The new technology has practically revolutionized how platforms based on user-generated content are handling these processes.

1. Speed

Our digital world requires a fast pace of moderation. No one would like to wait days before their social media post goes live because it has to be reviewed by a human moderator.

One of the biggest promises of automation — which it truly delivers on — is speed. Moderating the tons of content that go online every second seems like a mission impossible without technology. But with its help, it can occur in real time. 

With algorithms, the moderation process gets faster and more efficient. Content that is undoubtedly harmful or illegal can be immediately taken down. Dubious content automatically gets flagged and forwarded for human review. This makes the whole cycle quicker, providing for end users the immediacy of online media. 

2. Moderation at Scale

For online businesses, speed relates to scale too. If you’re running a platform that’s bound to grow, you need a viable moderation solution for handling an exponentially growing amount of user-generated content. 

Manual moderation wouldn’t be a feasible way to manage the huge amounts of content — it would require a very large team of human moderators and a very tight work schedule. The logical solution is automation, which can take over a huge chunk of the moderation process. 

Using automated content moderation helps digital platforms grow, while allowing them to preserve their security standards and to uphold their Trust and Safety programs. 

3. Protection of Human Moderators

A significant benefit of automated content moderation is related to the work of human moderators. It prevents them from having to go through the most disturbing content, as it gets automatically prescreened. 

The negative psychological effects of moderation are not a secret, and the job is deemed as a truly challenging one. The more these risks can be curbed, the better it gets for both moderators and the platforms they work for. 

Automated Content Moderation
Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

Limitations of Automated Content Moderation

While it’s mostly a winning move, there are some drawbacks to using automation in the content moderation process. Still, with good planning, they can also be easily overcome. 

For the time being, the moderation process is not fully automated. Instead, a semi-automated approach is the best solution for now. The input of human moderators is still necessary for certain decisions and sensitive cases because of their ability for critical reflection. 

The hard work is being done by the algorithms, and people are involved only at the last stages. The content has been pre-screened, but needs a final yes or no by a moderator. While not fully automatic, this saves tremendous amounts of work hours, plus reduces the exposure to harmful content. 

While the moderation technology is still learning and being improved, there may be some mistakes in the identification of harmful content. Technology still struggles with recognizing context in certain cases. Some inappropriate content may slip through, while compliant content may get flagged. The platform needs to be updated regularly to include the latest news and cultural symbols. 

While all of this is challenging, AI- and machine learning-powered systems are becoming better and better at recognizing illegal and harmful content. They are learning with every new input they’re processing, which sets a high promise for their future performance. 

Another hurdle for automated content moderation is the limited ability of technology to grasp contextual variations in speech, images and in cultural norms as a whole. The use of certain words or slang phrases in one region may be perfectly fine, while they may be offensive in other places. Nuances and variations in language and behavior may also be difficult to catch for automated platforms. Contextual use of imagery can be a tough nut to crack too. 

How Does Automated Content Moderation Work?

Automated content moderation can be used in different ways, depending on the needs of your platform:

  • Pre-moderation: algorithms screen all content before it goes live
  • Post-moderation: content is screened shortly after it’s gone live; this is the most popular method
  • Reactive moderation: users report posts for inappropriateness after they have been published  

Whichever method you choose, your first step will be to set your moderation policy. You’ll need to define the rules and types of content that have to be removed, depending on the overall strategy of your platform. Thresholds also have to be set, so that the moderation tool has clear demarcation when content violates your standards. 

In the most common case of post-moderation, all user-generated content is processed by the moderation platform. On the basis of the set rules and thresholds, clearly inappropriate content is immediately removed. Due to the automation, this can happen quite soon after it’s been published. Some items are considered trickier by the algorithm, and they are fed for human review. Content moderators access the questionable items through the moderation interface. Then they make the final decision to keep or remove the content.   

Whenever content is forwarded for manual moderation, the training data from the human moderators’ actions feeds back into the automated moderation platform. In this way, the AI learns from the subtleties in human decisions to remove or keep certain content. With time, the new learnings enrich the algorithms and make the automatic process more and more accurate. 

What Type of Content Can You Moderate Automatically?

You can use automated content moderation with all types of content — visual, textual, and even with moving images. 

1. Visuals

With the help of computer vision, automated platforms can identify inappropriate content in images through object detection mechanisms. They use algorithms to recognize unwanted elements and their position for an understanding of the whole scene. Offensive text can also be spotted, even if it is contained in an image. 

The types of inappropriate visuals you can catch with fully automated content moderation include:

  • Nudity and pornography
  • Self-harm and gore
  • Alcohol, drugs, and forbidden substances
  • Weapons and torture instruments
  • Verbal abuse, harsh language, and racism
  • Obscene gestures
  • Graffiti and demolished sights
  • Physical abuse and slavery
  • Mass fights
  • Propaganda and terrorism
  • Infamous or vulgar symbols
  • Infamous landmarks
  • Infamous people
  • Horror and monstrous images
  • Culturally-defined inappropriateness

2. Text 

Natural language processing (NLP) algorithms can recognize the main meaning of a text and its emotional charge. Automated moderation can identify the tone of the text and then categorize it thanks to sentiment analysis. It can also search for certain keywords within textual content. Additionally, built-in knowledge databases can be used to predict the compliance of texts with moderation policies. 

Algorithms can screen for:

  • Bullying and harassment
  • Hate Speech
  • Trolling
  • Copyrighted text
  • Spam and scam 
  • Fraudulent text
  • Pornographic text

3. Video

Video moderation requires the most complex process. The whole file has to be reviewed to ensure its compliance. Computer vision identifies inappropriate elements in the visual parts, while other algorithms are used to analyze the audio too. Automated content moderation is applicable even for live streaming where the screening process is in real time. 

Automated Content Moderation Solutions

Imagga’s content moderation platform provides you with all the tools you need to automate your moderation process. It’s a powerful and easy-to-use solution that you can integrate in your operations — and prepare your platform for scaling.

Imagga’s AI-powered pre-trained systems analyze all content on the basis of the moderation guidelines that you have set. Our API learns on the go too, so it improves with every project it processes. 

In the Admin Dashboard, you can create different categories of inappropriate content to look for and define the parameters for each. You can set priority levels for projects, as well as thresholds for flagging and forwarding content for human moderation. You can also control data retention length. 

The Moderation Interface is crafted to make your human moderators’ job easier. They get automatically prescreened content that they can review faster and with reduced risks because the most horrible content has already been removed. Moderators can use handy hotkeys and organize their work effectively in the interface.   

With Imagga’s content moderation platform, you can effectively ensure the protection of your users, your brand reputation, and your human moderators. You can use our tools in the cloud or on premise — and you can easily plug them in your current processes, whether you have an in-house or an outsourced moderation team

Automated Content Moderation Case Studies

1. Live Streaming Use Case

  • Simultaneous moderation of live video streams is needed
  • Can’t be done via manual moderation due to privacy concerns
  • Automated moderation guarantees the privacy
  • Done in short interval of time, and if a problematic stream is detected, escalated to the website admins to follow nsfw policies - sending warning or/and terminating the stream, etc

2. Dating website Use Case

  • similar to above but images uploaded for profile, videos and live stream chat if supported 
  • Different levels of moderation regarding country of operation and type of dating website. 
  • Automated CM removes the privacy concerns as it might be very sensitive when it comes to dating websites

3. Travel web sites Use Case

  • Moderation of both images and texts - travel sights are better thanks to the reviews visitors leave - moderation of the text and images/videos is needed 
  • Automated CM makes possible real time publishing of reviews when they pass the auto CM filter

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Automated Content Moderation?

Automated content moderation entails the processing of user-generated content by computer vision and AI-powered algorithms. This makes the moderation process faster and more efficient, and it protects human moderators from the most disturbing content online. 

How Do Automated Content Moderation Tools Work?

Automated moderation is powered by technology that screens content for inappropriate words and images — be it in text, visuals, or video. It prescreens user-generated content and forwards to human moderators only items that are questionable. 


what is content moderation

What Is Content Moderation? | Types of Content Moderation, Tools, and more

The digital world is in a constant state of flux, and one of its powerful propellers is user generated content. Today, people are more likely to trust the opinion shared by people online rather than information provided by businesses and institutions. Read on to learn to find out what is content moderation.

Unimaginable quantities of text, images and video are being published daily — and brands need a way to keep tabs on the content that their platforms host. This is crucial for maintaining a safe and trustworthy environment for your clients, as well as for monitoring social influences on brand perception and complying with official regulations. 

Content moderation is the most effective method for achieving all of that. It helps online businesses provide a safe and healthy environment for their users. 

what is content moderation

What Is Content Moderation?

Content moderation refers to the screening of inappropriate content that users post on a platform. The process entails the application of pre-set rules for monitoring content. If it doesn’t satisfy the guidelines, the content gets flagged and removed. The reasons can be different, including violence, offensiveness, extremism, nudity, hate speech, copyright infringements, and similar. 

The goal of content moderation is to ensure the platform is safe to use and upholds the brand’s Trust and Safety program. Content moderation is widely used by social media, dating websites and apps, marketplaces, forums, and similar platforms.

Why Is Content Moderation Important?

Because of the sheer amount of content that’s being created every second, platforms based on user-generated content are struggling to stay on top of inappropriate and offensive text, images, and videos. 

Content moderation is the only way to keep your brand’s website in line with your standards — and to protect your clients and your reputation. With its help, you can ensure your platform serves the purpose that you’ve designed it for, rather than giving space for spam, violence and explicit content. 

Types of Content Moderation

Many factors come into play when deciding what’s the best way to handle content moderation for your platform — such as your business focus, the types of user-generated content, and the specificities of your user base. 

Here are the main types of content moderation processes that you can choose from for your brand. 

1. Automated Moderation

Moderation today relies heavily on technology to make the process quicker, easier and safer. AI-powered algorithms analyze text and visuals in a fraction of the time that people need to do that, and most of all — it doesn’t suffer psychological traumas from processing inappropriate content. 

When it comes to text, automated moderation can screen for keywords that are deemed as problematic. More advanced systems can spot conversational patterns and relationship analysis too. 

As for visuals, image recognition powered by AI tools like Imagga offers a highly viable option for monitoring images, videos and live streams. Such solutions identify inappropriate imagery and have various options for controlling threshold levels and types of sensitive visuals. 

While tech-powered moderation is becoming more and more precise and effective, it cannot fully obliterate human review, especially in more complex situations. That’s why automated moderation still uses a mixture between technology and human moderation. 

2. Pre-Moderation

This is the most elaborate way to approach content moderation. It entails that every piece of content is reviewed before it gets published on your platform. When a user posts some text or a visual, the item is sent to the review queue. It goes live only after a content moderator has explicitly approved it.

While this is the safest way to block harmful content, this process is rather slow and not applicable for the fast-paced online world. However, platforms that require a high level of security still employ this moderation method. A common example are platforms for children where security of the users comes first.  

3. Post-Moderation

Post-moderation is the most typical way to go about content screening. Users are allowed to post their content whenever they wish to, but all items are queued for moderation. If an item is flagged, it gets removed to protect the rest of the users. 

Platforms strive to shorten review times, so that inappropriate content doesn’t stay online for too long. While post-moderation is not as secure as pre-moderation, it is still the preferred method for many digital businesses today.

4. Reactive Moderation

Reactive moderation entails relying on users to mark content that they find inappropriate or that goes against your platform’s rules. It can be an effective solution in some cases. 

Reactive moderation can be used as a standalone method, or combined with post-moderation for optimal results. In the latter case, users can flag content even after it has passed your moderation processes, so you get a double safety net. 

If you opt to use reactive moderation only, there are some risks you’d want to consider. A self-regulating platform sounds great, but it may lead to inappropriate content remaining online for far too long. This may cause long-term reputational damage to your brand. 

5. Distributed Moderation

This type of moderation relies fully on the online community to review content and remove it as necessary. Users employ a rating system to mark whether a piece of content matches the platform’s guidelines.

This method is seldom used because it poses significant challenges for brands in terms of reputation and legal compliance. 

types of content moderation
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

How Does Content Moderation Work?

To put content moderation to use for your platform, you’ll first need to set clear guidelines about what constitutes inappropriate content. This is how the people who will be doing the job — content moderators — will know what to mark for removal. 

Besides types of content that have to be reviewed, flagged and removed, you’ll also have to define the thresholds for moderation. This refers to the sensitivity level that content moderators should stick to when reviewing content. What thresholds you’ll set would depend on your users’ expectations and their demographics, as well as the type of business you’re running. 

Content moderation, as explained in the previous section, can take a few different forms. Pre-moderation, or reviewing content before it’s published, is usually considered too slow for today’s user generated content volume. That’s why most platforms choose to review content after it’s gone live, and it gets immediately placed on the moderation queue. 

Post-moderation is often paired with automated moderation to achieve the best and quickest results.  

What Types of Content Can You Moderate?

Moderation can be applied to all kinds of content, depending on your platform’s focus - text, images, video, and even live streaming. 

1. Text

Text posts are everywhere — and can accompany all types of visual content too. That’s why moderating text is one of the prerogatives for all types of platforms with user-generated content. 

Just think of the variety of texts that are published all time, such as:

  • Articles
  • Social media discussions
  • Comments 
  • Job board postings 
  • Forum posts

In fact, moderating text can be quite a feat. Catching offensive keywords is often not enough because inappropriate text can be made up of a sequence of perfectly appropriate words. There are nuances and cultural specificities to take into account as well. 

2. Images

Moderating visual content is considered a bit more straightforward, yet having clear guidelines and thresholds is essential. Cultural sensitivities and differences may come into play as well, so it’s important to know in-depth the specificities of your user bases in different geographical locations. 

Reviewing large amounts of images can be quite a challenge, which is a hot topic for visual-based platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and the like. Content moderators can get exposed to deeply disturbing visuals, which is a huge risk of the job. 

3. Video

Video has become one of the most ubiquitous types of content these days. Moderating it, however, is not an easy job. The whole video file has to be screened because it may contain only a single disturbing scene, but that would still be enough to remove the whole of it. 

Another major challenge in moderating video content is that it often contains different types of text too, such as subtitles and titles. They also have to be reviewed before the video is approved. 

4. Live Streaming

Last but not least, there’s live streaming too, which is a whole different beast. Not only that it means moderating video and text, but it has to occur simultaneously with the actual streaming of the content. 

	content moderation definition
Photo by Adam Satria on Unsplash

The Job of the Content Moderator

In essence, the content moderator is in charge of reviewing batches of content — whether textual or visual — and marking items that don’t meet a platform’s pre-set guidelines. This means that a person has to manually go through each item, assessing its appropriateness while reviewing it fully. This is often rather slow — and dangerous — if the moderator is not assisted by an automatic pre-screening. 

It’s no secret today that manual content moderation takes its toll on people. It holds numerous risks for moderators’ psychological state and well-being. They may get exposed to the most disturbing, violent, explicit and downright horrible content out there. 

That’s why various content moderation solutions have been created in recent years — that take over the most difficult part of the job. 

Content Moderation Solutions

While human review is still necessary in many situations, technology offers effective and safe ways to speed up content moderation and to make it safer for moderators. Hybrid models of work offer unseen scalability and efficiency for the moderation process. 

Tools powered by Artificial Intelligence, such as Imagga’s content moderation solution, hold immense potential for businesses that rely on large volumes of user generated content. Our platform offers automatic filtering of unsafe content — whether it’s in images, videos, or live streaming. 

The platform allows you to define your moderation rules and to set thresholds on the go. You can tweak various aspects of the automated moderation to make the process as effective and precise as you need.

You can easily integrate Imagga in your workflow, empowering your human moderation team with the feature-packed automatic solution that improves their work. The AI-powered algorithms learn on the go, so the more you use the platform, the better it will get at spotting the most common types of problematic content you’re struggling with.

You can use Imagga’s platform in the way that best fits your work — either in the cloud, or as an on-premise solution. 

https://youtu.be/SblTjhosI5o

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the hottest topics you’ll want to ask about content moderation. 

What does content moderation mean?

Content moderation is the job of screening for inappropriate content that users post on a platform. The goal is to safeguard the users from any content that might be unsafe or inappropriate and in turn might ruin the online reputation of the platform its been published on. 

How content moderation work?

Content moderation can be done manually by human moderators that have been instructed what content must be discarded as unsuitable, or automatically using AI platforms for precise content moderation. In some cases, combination of manual and automated content moderation is used for faster and better results. 

What are examples of content moderation?

Content moderation is essential when content needs to be delivered to minors. In this case disturbing, violent or explicit content needs to be carefully monitored and flagged as inappropriate. Content moderation can be applied to text, images, video and live streams.  

Do you have any questions about what is content moderation? Let us know in the comment section or don't hesitate to reach out to us.


Content Moderation: In-House vs Outsourced

Effective community management for your online platform relies on high-quality content moderation. With tons of user-generated content that needs to be reviewed continuously, you’re surely pondering how to go about handling your moderation needs — with an outlook for scaling your business.

The in-house vs. outsource dilemma is common for online companies across industries that have to ensure adequate review of user content. It’s an important decision that you need to take early on in your platform’s development. This is how you can ensure a good application of your Trust and Safety program for users’ sake, compliance with relevant regulations, and protection of your brand reputation. 

Both in-house and outsourced content moderation have pros and cons — and it’s a matter of weighing which option is most suitable to your current needs. Let’s dig into the pros and cons of each option, so you get an overview of what would work for you — while knowing you can always count on Imagga’s AI-powered automatic moderation platform, whichever choice you make.

In-House Content Moderation

Many companies prefer to build a content moderation team in-house. This is a long-term investment that certainly brings a number of benefits — but does have its drawbacks too. 

Pros

Having an in-house review team allows you to have a high level of control over the moderation process. Being in the same office, you can easily tweak procedures and guidelines to adapt to new circumstances and trends. 

Tackling moderation in-house also provides you with an in-depth view of the functioning of your online platform. You can have a fully hands-on approach in its development, recognizing challenges as they arise.

With an internal team, you can ensure improved consistency in moderation policies, as it’s easier to teach new staff and even pass down intuitive knowledge on difficult cases. This means shorter times for decisions on controversial or politically charged cases since your team members are aware of your company values and better understand what’s the best move in terms of your Trust and Safety policy.

Add Imagga’s full or semi-automated AI-first Content Moderation to the mix and your internal team will be relieved from reviewing repetitive inappropriate content and left to deal only with controversial or sensitive cases. 

Cons 

Creating an in-house moderation team can be expensive. It can be difficult to hire the necessary number of employees at once, which means you may be slow to start with your content review. 

Another potential downside of in-house moderation is that your newly founded team will need training. Even if staff members are experienced in the field, they’ll still need to get up to speed with the right content moderation strategy for the project at hand. You’ll also need to provide moderators with adequate psychological support due to the job’s increased risks.

Outsourced Moderation

Hiring an external team to take care of content moderation is a popular option for many online businesses, including giant social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It can be a good choice for your company too — but let’s first look at its pros and cons.

Pros

Outsourcing content moderation can save you time and money. Typically, a third-party vendor would have a faster and better-trained moderation team. You’d be able to benefit from their expertise immediately. 

This is also important considering the growing online risks. An outsourced expert team that keeps tabs on security threats would provide you with the top strategies and methods for moderation

Having an outsourced team bundled with Imagga’s Automated Content Management Platform will further shorten the moderation time and make it, even more, cost-efficient as huge amounts of content that needs to be reviewed can be sorted out automatically. 

Cons 

Collaborating with your external moderation team may be challenging. It’s important to have a contact person at the third-party vendor, so you have a one-stop communication point. 

With moderation outsourcing, ensuring flexibility, adaptability, and continuous learning may also be more difficult. You’ll need to make sure that your moderation partner understands thoroughly the cultural and linguistic specificities of your business. Frequent exchanges are also key to ensuring continuity in the moderation process.

How Imagga Can Help You Ace Your Content Moderation

Whether you opt-in for in-house or outsourcing, Imagga is your trusted content moderation partner. We offer a complete AI-powered content moderation solution that employs the best from artificial and human intelligence. 

Our automatic platform uses advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms to provide precise filtering of unsafe content, saving tons of work hours that otherwise moderators have to spend in reviewing

The automated content screening is self-learning, so it gets better the more you use it. Plus, you can fully control the settings of the moderation process: you can select and set up different projects, batch sizes, priority levels, privacy issues, and assigned moderators, to mention a few.  

With Imagga’s content moderation platform, you have full freedom to choose whether you work with your in-house moderation team — or an outsourced one. You can easily plug in your in-house moderators in our AI platform, or hire external help from us that’s going to seamlessly enhance the automatic platform. 

Ready to get started? Contact us for a demo of our AI-powered moderation solution or to learn more about Imagga’s content moderation services.


Why Bad Content is bad for your Business

Unsafe Content Is Bad for Business. Here’s How to Get Rid of It

The ubiquitous creation of different types of content — from text and audio to images, video, and live streaming — is driving the development of online platforms across locations and industries.

This makes content moderation a top priority for a wide variety of online businesses, including marketplaces with user-generated content, dating websites, online communication platforms, and gaming websites, among many others. 

As Trust and Safety programs are steadily becoming the basis of building a safe digital environment, you just can’t skip on adequate content screening if you want to grow a successful online business. 

Detecting problematic content is important for a variety of reasons: protecting the users, meeting national and international digital safety regulations, and building up your reputation as a safe online platform. 

Here’s why you should take care of content moderation skillfully — and how you can go about doing that with ease. 

Why Bad Content Is Bad for Business

The unimaginable amounts of content created online every day is both a blessing and a curse for online businesses. 

Platforms want to give space to their users to express themselves — yet this comes at the price of having to monitor tons of user-generated content and removing the ‘digital garbage’. The content that has to be flagged and removed for safety reasons includes illegal, obscene, insulting, and inappropriate materials, as well as any other content that doesn’t meet the platform’s guidelines. 

If left unsupervised, problematic content can get out of control and jeopardize the very existence of a platform. 

It’s Harmful to Your Users

Unsafe content is a direct threat for the very people you want to have on your website, whether you’re running a travel platform, a marketplace, or a dating platform. 

As the owner of the platform, you have a moral responsibility towards users to ensure a safe and secure environment. It’s especially important to protect vulnerable groups and to prevent discrimination, insults, and threats as much as possible. 

With content moderation, you can prevent bullies, trolls, and other people with harmful intentions to reach the rest of your user base and taking advantage of them and of your brand. 

It’s an Issue with Legal Compliance 

Beyond the ethical duties, your online business may be liable for the content you publish. There are various national and international regulations regarding safe content that you may need to comply with to stay in business. While previously social media platforms, for example, were exempt from liability for illegal content, this is changing. 

The UK is moving towards such regulations, having its communications regulator screen for illegal content and fine platforms that expose their users to this. Similar steps have been taken in France, Germany, U.S., Brazil, and many other countries. 

While there is a pushback to content moderation legislation because of censorship considerations, such regulations are steadily gaining ground, including the EU’s Digital Services Act

It’s a Challenge to Your Brand Reputation

Last but not least, leaving harmful content published by ill-willing users on your platform is a risk for your brand reputation. 

If your regular users get exposed to violence, propaganda, child nudity, weapons, drugs, hate symbols, and a long list of other unsafe content, they’re very likely to stop using your services. 

The word of mouth about the permissibility of a platform towards problematic content spreads around fast — especially in a world as digitally connected as ours. This makes it difficult to protect your reputation if you have allowed unsafe content to circulate freely. You may also face legal problems if the case is brought to the attention of state and international authorities. 

The Key to Successful Content Moderation: Imagga

Content moderation is undoubtedly crucial for online platforms — but it’s no easy feat. The last years have seen the gradual move from manual moderation done by people to automatized moderation provided by technology

Imagga offers a fully or semi-automatic content moderation solution, powered by our extensive experience and achievements in Artificial Intelligence. Our real-time content screening works at scale and ensures that any Trust and Safety program to protect your users and reputation is successful.

With the automatic filtering of unsafe images, video, and live stream, your moderation teams can breathe in relief — as their work is significantly reduced and they’re protected from the sheer amount of harmful content they need to process. You can use different scopes of content moderation which you can deploy in the way that works for you, whether it’s cloud, on-premise, or edge deployment. And the best part: the self-learning AI gets better over time!

Interested to give it a try? Get in touch today to learn how you can ace your content moderation with the help of Imagga.

https://youtu.be/-SHFncU4h18

Automatic Image Tagging for Lightroom Is Here: Meet Wordroom

Whether you’re using Lightroom to organize and edit your private photos or to process your customer’s images, keeping your visual collection under control can be a nightmare. All of us want to have well-organized photo albums, yet finding the time for tedious sorting is not on top of our wishlist. 

One of the proven ways to put order in the piles of images is to add metadata to each of them, so that their content is identifiable. By assigning keywords that describe the most important elements - people, objects, places, colors, and themes, you can create a searchable visual database. Then finding the right picture is done in a matter of seconds, whether it’s the favorite family photo or a specific stock image that you need for a client.  

While keyword tagging in Lightroom is undoubtedly useful, handling it manually is a never-ending battle. It’s time-consuming and boring, yet there’s barely any other way to go about organizing your visuals. 

That’s where Imagga’s Wordroom comes in - a simple yet powerful image tagging Lightroom keyword plugin that revolutionizes the way you organize your image collection. Backed by machine learning algorithms, the tool ‘sees’ the image and automatically offers diverse keywords with high accuracy. You then add them to the image’s metadata with a single click. 

wordroom-screenshot-tagging

Let’s dig in the process of keyword tagging in Lightroom and explore how Wordroom can make your work with visuals easier.  

The need for keyword tagging in Adobe Lightroom

Organizing a large photo collection is a tough nut to crack. For hobbyist and professional photographers alike, the need to have a system for sorting manifests almost immediately - in the first moment when the images start to pile up on the hard drive. 

The most common way to solve this is to introduce keywords for each photo. They describe the major elements and themes in the image, providing it with a content description, as well as a contextual one. You have to enter the relevant words when organizing your collection, so later on, you can search for a specific image or for a certain topic. 

The manual approach to keyword tagging is infamously hard and has produced an endless amount of jokes and complaints among visual professionals. It entails spending long hours in reviewing each image. You need to note the words that best describe the people, animals, objects, as well as colors, themes and emotions that can be seen on every photo. It’s not only about mentioning the objects and activities on it, but also considering its deeper meanings and context. 

Despite the efforts, the manual keyword system often proves inconsistent and difficult to scale. The process is doable for a few images, but when you have to sort hundreds of them, it becomes a serious burden. While copy-paste works for a while, most of us would agree that there are much better ways to spend one’s time. Here’s how AI image recognition helps. 

 

Wordroom: the power of automatic tagging 

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Computer vision technology is a powerful asset in numerous industries today, but its application is ever more important in digital photography and videography. Ploughing through hundreds of thousands of images and videos is a central issue for photographers, videographers and stock website contributors, as well as for photo hobbyists. For all of them, keyword tagging is the much hated item on the to-do list that always gets postponed or done halfway. 

With a simple plugin, the process of keyword tagging in Lightroom becomes a breeze. Wordroom uses image recognition based on artificial intelligence in order to identify the main elements and attributes of each visual. They include objects, colors, shapes, and even actions, emotions, timeframes, and abstract terms. Once the plugin ‘reads’ the information, it automatically provides you with a list of keywords that you can edit and add to. You can use its capabilities for both small and large collections alike. 

The additional benefit of using an AI-powered tool like Wordroom is that it gets better with time. The more people use it to auto-tag photos, the more data the plugin can use to improve its accuracy. That’s at the core of machine learning, which means the AI develops with every new completed task. 

Image auto tagging for Lightroom is just one of the many uses of Imagga’s Auto Tagging API. Its image recognition capabilities bring innovation and easier processes for diverse types of professionals and businesses - real estate, cloud and other technologies, media, and commerce and retail, among others. The API is accurate and efficient, while allowing you to handle massive database of images with its customizable tagging. Computer vision also powers image and facial recognition, which are heavily used by social media nowadays. 

How to use Wordroom

It’s easy to get started with image auto tagging for Lightroom. The installation of Wordroom is a seamless process. 

In Lightroom, you have to select Plugin Manager from the dropdown menu File. Then you have to add the plugin Wordroom from the folder on your computer and enable it. Click Done and you’re ready to go. Check out the video below for the full details. 



The next step is to try out the tool. From the dropdown menu Library, select Plug-in Extras > Auto-keyword. You will then see the window of the plugin. It will display the automatic keyword suggestions for the currently selected photo. The plugin supports both RAW and non-RAW image formats. 

Wordroom offers up to 30 keywords for each image. You can deselect the ones that you find irrelevant. You can also add an unlimited number of extra keywords manually, if needed. When you click the button “Add to keyword tags,” Wordroom will display the selected automatic and the manually added keywords in Lightroom’s Keyword tags panel. 



Once a photo has been tagged, you will be able to see the keywords in the metadata panel. You can copy them and paste them for other images, if they are similar. You can also edit manually the keywords in the panel as well. Each photo that already has keywords is displayed with a tag icon on its thumbnail. 

For up to 100 photos, you can use the plugin without registration. To continue using Wordroom, you need to sign up for a free plan. It allows you to auto-tag up to 2,000 photos per month. Professional photographers would need a larger bandwidth. If that’s your case, you can use the next plan, which includes automatic keyword tagging of up to 12,000 photos per month for $14.  

In order to analyze your photos, Wordroom transfers them to the cloud. This means that you need a working internet connection while using it. However, your photos’ safety is guaranteed, as they are not stored locally for the image recognition process.

If you want to contribute to the plugin’s improvement, you can click the option Agree to allow the tool to use your visual data. That’s how it can improve its image recognition technology. 

Want to try image auto tagging in Lightroom?

The simple premise of Wordroom is to help you handle your photo collections easily and with less effort. The AI-powered technology behind the plugin speeds up the keyword tagging process, freeing up your time, so you can focus on what’s truly important in your work. 

Keen on checking out the automatic keyword functionality of Wordroom for your Lightroom photo collection? You can get started for free today. Just enter your email, and you’ll receive the download link.  


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How to Handle Content Moderation with the Human Factor in Mind

User-generated content (UCG) is at the heart of the online world we live in, dramatically shaping how we humans exchange information. While it brings unseen freedom in terms of communication channels and forms of expression, as we well know, there is a dark side to every revolution. Scamming, plagiarism, cyber bullying, not safe for work content (NSFW) and outright scary stuff - they’re all out there in the pictures, videos, articles and audio clips being freely posted online. 

For years, brands have been trying to figure out effective ways to sort out disturbing and harmful user-generated and curated content. Content moderation is seen as the only way to ensure a safe online environment for digital users and prevent abuse and harmful practices online. 

For businesses, efficient moderation is the answer to the ever-growing risks that they face if they don’t eliminate illegal and abusive content: harm to the brand’s reputation, legality and compliance issues, and financial consequences. Moderation is the only solution for excluding content that contains violence, extremism, child abuse, hate speech, graphic visuals, nudity and sex, cruelty, and spam. 

Yet the price to pay is high, typically involving endless hours of traumatic work for low-paid employees. In the beginning of November 2019, the top content moderation company Cognizant, serving giants like Facebook and Google, declared it’s leaving the business. The shocking news came amid scandals revolving around its working conditions and the harmful psychological effects that content moderation jobs have on people. 

While still developing its capabilities, AI-powered moderation is of enormous help in solving many of the issues with illegal and abusive content. Computer vision alleviates a large part of the burden on human content moderators, while increasing productivity and optimizing the moderation process for businesses. 

What’s the solution to the harsh reality of content moderation? Let’s dig in and explore the options. 

The risks of human content moderation

The job of the online content moderator is in high demand: more than 100,000 people around the world are involved in content review for online companies. Many of them are based in the Silicon Valley, but a significant proportion of the work is also outsourced - such as in the Philippines and Mexico. 

A recent New Yorker interview with Sarah T. Roberts, author of Behind the Screen book about content moderation workers, reveals the ‘underworld’ of this job. Employees have to go through thousands of visuals per day, typically reported by end users as inappropriate, illegal or disturbing. It would be then up to the moderators to decide, in a matter of seconds, whether the image contradicts the company’s and country’s policies, or not. This means moderators have to make super-quick decisions about the appropriateness of a piece of content, while considering business guidelines and ethical codes. 

According to the interviews that Roberts conducted with moderators around the world, the emotional toll is enormous. Burnout and desensitization are only the surface, followed by PTSD, social isolation and depression. On top of the negative psychological effects, Roberts’ research shows that content moderators typically receive entry-level salaries and have to agree with subpar working conditions. Tech companies, as well as content moderation service providers, consider this type of work as rather ‘mechanical,’ ignoring its heavy effects. 

Besides the ethical and psychological considerations, content moderation done by humans is slow and cannot be easily scaled. With millions of visuals posted daily, online companies are facing waterfalls of content that needs to be reviewed for legal and ethical reasons. So what’s on the table today, coming from Artificial Intelligence applied to content moderation? 

What AI has to offer in content review

Image recognition is revolutionizing the online world in countless ways. Its most ‘humane’ and ethical benefit, though, may as well be its contribution to automatizing image moderation. Computer vision allows the rapid analysis and identification of visual content, saving hours of work that would otherwise be performed manually by people. 

How does it function? When an image is submitted for AI review, it is first analyzed by the API, which is the pre-moderation stage. Then the algorithm makes its conclusion regarding what the picture represents, which is done with near-perfect accuracy. On the basis of this keyword categorization, the computer models identify if any objects on the image match its list of inappropriate content. 

For images screened by the AI that it deems safe, it’s possible for businesses to set automatic posting, as well as automatic categorization of the content. In case the algorithm detects potentially problematic content (the grey zone), the visuals are referred for human screening. While manual review is still necessary, the toughest part of the work - the identification of objects on the monstrous volume of visuals - is completed by the AI. The content moderation software also offers automatic filtering. If a piece of content is considered by the algorithm as too offensive, it’s not redirected for moderation, but directly removed. 

In addition to reviewing potentially harmful and disturbing content, AI-powered content moderation can bring extra benefits to businesses. For example, it helps with reducing clutter in websites where users post sales listings. Computer vision allows the filtering of offers, so that buyers are not swamped with irrelevant, as well as inappropriate or disturbing listings. This has immediate and important benefits for online marketplaces and e-commerce. 

Image recognition can also be used to ensure quality by removing low-resolution visuals, as well as identifying unwanted watermarks or symbols and preventing copyright infringements. This is especially useful for social media, stock websites, and also for retailers. Last but not least, AI content moderation can contribute to fighting disinformation and the spreading of fake news.  

Blending AI and human power 

Numerous cases in the last decade illustrate that relying solely on human moderation is expensive and difficult to scale, in addition to being a hazard to people conducting the job. At the same time, AI algorithms cannot fully take over content moderation - yet. In most cases today, the best approach is using both - in the most practical and safe ways. 

Combining the power of human judgment and computer vision holds enormous potential for handling the tons of violent, pornographic, illegal and inappropriate visuals that are being posted online daily. This approach allows a significant workload reduction for hundreds of thousands of psychologically harming content moderator positions. It is also cost-effective for companies, as a large part of the content is processed by AI. 

At the same time, the participation of expert moderators who would contribute to the improving of the algorithms and setting the overall content moderation guidelines of a business is crucial. AI is developing quickly and presenting great options for content moderation, allowing for high levels of accuracy and scaling. However, the human input remains decisive, as only people are able to provide full understanding of context and cultural relevance, as well as emotional processing. 

Imagga’s content moderation platform is designed to work in sync with human moderators. They get notified for pre-defined scenarios that require human judgement for the AI-flagged content in images, videos and live streaming. Moderators can manually set threshold ranges regarding when human review is necessary - for different types of moderation issues, such as NSFW, violence, weapons, and more. Companies can choose to include their own moderation teams in the process, or to hire a moderation team from Imagga. 

With the use of powerful AI for image moderation, human labor is minimized dramatically. This helps companies optimize their content moderation processes. The results are higher efficiency and improved quality, as well as easier scaling of moderation efforts, which is key for UGC-based businesses today. 

Get started with AI-powered content moderation

Companies operating with large-scale user-generated and curated content require moderation in order to protect their customers from harmful and abusive content, as well as to protect themselves from legal, economic and reputational damage. The approach depends on each business’s choice - the right mixture between the impressive capabilities of AI and the still required human input. Yet the benefits of image moderation through computer vision are indisputable. 

Explore how Imagga’s content moderation platform can help your business handle content review safely and efficiently.