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What is content moderation, and why is AI the answer?

Table of Contents:

What is content moderation, and why is AI the answer?

So much content to moderate, so little time.

There's an astounding 2.5 quintillion bytes of data uploaded to the Internet every day. Even though your company only produces a tiny fraction of this total, it is easy to get overwhelmed with managing image, video, text, and audio content generated by users.


As your company grows, the amount of user-generated content tends to grow. Trust and safety teams struggle to keep up, and slow approval processes - ones that require manual review, rules-based moderation, or keyword moderation - are making customers wait for a long time before their content is approved and publishable. Moderating popular content like video can be incredibly challenging when you consider the fact you have to actually watch the video in its entirety and review it frame-by-frame to approve it.


To make matters worse, staffing moderation teams can be highly challenging, and exposing team members to toxic content can be traumatic. Human moderators must be multi-skilled and have the maturity and capacity to examine information that may be explicit. They have to accept opinions and viewpoints that may be different than their own, and they have to be experts in the language, regional dialects, and local culture relevant to the content.

Monetization requires moderation

Moderation is essential any time there is an upload button on the internet. If you host content that external users supply, you will need effective moderation that removes copyrighted, illegal, or harmful content.


All it takes is one terrible post to ruin everyone's day. If one harmful piece of content can get posted on your site, your reputation can be tarnished, customers can be lost, fines levied, and lawsuits filed.


Harsh government regulations exist around content moderation, and companies must implement appropriate controls for all cloud-hosted content. Businesses might accidentally allow the illegal distribution of copyrighted material, and privacy concerns are a significant issue whenever you share data with your customers, partners, or suppliers.

Content in peril, Al to the rescue

There is simply too much user-generated content for your company to keep up with, so how do you support this part of your business?


AI is here to help.


AI-based moderation can help you scale your content moderation operations and speed up the review process. AI can automate content moderation entirely or augment the efforts of your human moderators. AI is helping companies to scale quickly by using and while using the resources they already have. With AI-powered moderation, companies can find an appropriate contact faster with greater accuracy and remove it before it's seen.


Trust and safety

AI can help you automatically screen and approve user-generated images, video, text, and audio content to ensure its appropriateness for public access. AI can recognize images or videos containing toxic, obscene, racist, or threatening language and automatically block this content from being published or flag questionable content for manual review. Common trust and safety moderation solutions include:

  • Objectionable and offensive content
  • Violent and criminal content
  • Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content
  • Illegal content
  • Nudity, drugs, and weapons


Brand management

AI can help with more than just harmful and offensive content, and AI can identify content that threatens copyright infringement or doesn't meet brand guidelines. You can screen for low-quality images and logos, and outdated content. Common brand management moderation solutions include:

  • Quality norms and brand content rules
  • Brand safety taxonomies like GARM
  • Poor-quality logos, off-brand materials, and old watermark detection



Content Moderation and AI: Everything you Need to Know

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How AI moderates content


If you use AI to moderate your content, you will want to have a basic understanding of how it works. Let’s break this down by looking at the different types of data you might be moderating and the type of techniques specifically used for moderating this kind of content.


Image and video moderation

Return probability scores on the likelihood that an image contains concepts such as gore, drugs, explicit nudity, or suggestive nudity. Determine if images are “safe." Use this model to protect online businesses and communities from the trust and safety risks associated with user-generated content.


Image classification

Image classification AI helps you categorize large quantities of unstructured image, video, and textual data. Classify objects, faces, people, sentiments, and more with state-of-the-art AI. Leverage a suite of pre-trained models or train a custom classification model to suit your needs.


Image detection

Image detection AI helps you locate people, places, and objects within your images and videos. Detection takes our Classification technology a step further by identifying the exact placement within a scene.


Text moderation

Moderate customer reviews, including images and text for inappropriate content. Detect toxic, obscene, racist, or threatening language.


Text classification

Text classification AI helps you conduct topic analysis of user-generated content. Identify and remove content that could impact your brand and offend your customers. Custom train text classification models or use pre-trained moderation models. Automatically assign tags or categories to analyze text based on its contents. Build accurate models for topic analysis, sentiment analysis, smart reply, and more.

Analyze and return probability scores that text contains concepts such as toxic language, insults, obscenities, and threats. Moderate content and ensure the exclusion of profanity, threatening language, and other unwanted text.


Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis AI helps you filter toxic sentiment in text. This special type of text classification helps you understand where or not a post is generally positive or negative in sentiment. Many times users will post content that is not offensive, but you will still want to know whether or not the given user is happy. Monitor product or service reviews, customer chat logs, and social media posts to identify and respond to content that may draw attention to critical customer satisfaction issues.


Review text content faster. Identify the text's tone and categorize it as anger, bullying or sarcasm, etc. This technique labels the text tone as positive or negative after its analysis.

Multimodal approaches

Moderate embedded text in images

Combine computer vision to classify images, OCR to extract image text, and NLP to classify text to detect toxic, offensive, and suggestive content in social posts.


Computer vision models alone cannot provide the full picture without analyzing the text within those images. Combining computer vision to classify images, OCR to extract image text, and NLP for text classification, you can reduce the risk of posting toxic, offensive, and suggestive content.

How to make content moderation a reality

You can use AI-powered content moderation to protect your brand, gain insights into customer sentiment, make it safer for customers to engage with your content, and ensure legal and brand compliance. Using AI, all of this can be done on a large scale and across multiple channels — with greater speed and improved accuracy.


Clarifai offers automated content moderation solutions with human-level accuracy. The ability to handle large volumes of toxic, obscene, racist, or threatening language content much faster than human moderators and deliver a moderation and approval process is quick and predictable.


Clarifai’s moderation solution is 100x faster than human moderators and results in a 95% reduction in manual work. Pre-trained models that you can implement quickly and, if customizable, can be quickly implemented as turnkey solutions. Clarifai also supports a hybrid approach that uses AI for content moderation to “pre-screen” content and only sends questionable content to humans for review.


Clarifai also supports multimodal workflows that can combine OCR to detect and extract image-text with NLP technology to classify and moderate this detected text. Multimodal workflows using CV, OCR, and NLP to uncover toxic text embedded inappropriate images provide you with a comprehensive moderation program