Manual vs Automatic Image Moderation

We live in a world where moderation has become necessity especially image moderation. Now, there are two ways to perform image moderation: manually and automatically.

In the following article, we will help you understand the difference between manual and automatic image moderation, how it’s done and what option you should choose for your website or app.

Before we begin, I would like to mention that both the moderation processes are effective and show promising results, but there are some pros and cons that you need to consider before choosing a process.

What is Manual Image Moderation

Manual image moderation is basically photo moderation where a user has to manually analyze an image, look for things that requires censoring or eliminating such as nudity, graphic or violence related illustrations. It is important to consider viewer discretion to ensure right audience engagement on your website.

There are many websites that deal with sensitive content by manually reviewing user generated content and approving them.


- Higher accuracy of moderation

- Custom moderation (ex: medically graphic images can be separated from the violent images)

- Quality and appropriateness

- Conscious judgement


- Time consuming

- Possibility of human error

- Extra resources

What is Automated Image Moderation?

This can be beneficial for websites that receives over 1000 submissions a day and need to publish them with speed. A user can use an image moderation API and integrate it with app or website.

They can also go for image moderation services to help moderate images quickly and efficiently. With the advent of AI, now image moderation can be done with accuracy as the machine learns custom data sets and moderate images accordingly.


- Automatic detection and elimination of inappropriate content

- Elimination of duplicate content

- Auto-enhancements

- Fast speed and efficient moderation

- No human intervention required


- Services and APIs can be costly

- Custom moderation may need human assistance

- Conscious moderation not possible yet. (AI’s can be trained though!)

What Should You Choose?

Choosing image moderation services or going for manual moderation depends solely on your business needs. If you are a large organization that has a need to moderate 100’s and 1000’s of images on a daily basis — go for an automated image moderation API or services.

If you are a small business or blog owner that only need to moderate around 10–20 images on a daily basis — stick to manual moderation. You can hire human moderators on hourly basis to moderate images daily.

So, there you go! Now, you have an idea on what kind of moderation you should choose for your business.

Try a free trial of image moderation services. Click here!