June 19, 2024

From detection to action: Understanding the content moderation workflow

By The Bodyguard Team
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In today's world, where billions of pieces of content are shared online every day, managing user-generated content properly is crucial for online platforms.

From social media giants to niche forums, ensuring that user-generated content complies with specific standards is vital for maintaining a safe and respectful online environment.

But what exactly goes on behind the scenes when it comes to keeping online spaces safe and free from harmful content?

This article will guide you through the detailed process of content moderation, explaining what it is, the different types, and each step from initial detection to final action.

What is content moderation and why is it important?

Content moderation is the process of monitoring and managing user-generated content to make sure it follows certain guidelines. Whether it's a comment on Facebook or a tweet, each piece of content has to go through the moderation process to stop the spread of harmful material such as hate speech, misinformation, or illegal content.

Content moderation protects users, protects minors from inappropriate content, and helps stop fake news spreading. It also builds trust and supports a positive community atmosphere, leading to better engagement and user interactions.

For businesses, it's important that toxic content isn't seen on your pages, so that you can protect your brand reputation and distance yourself from the kind of content that could be damaging.

Types of content moderation

There are several types of content moderation.

  • Pre-moderation: Content is checked before it appears online. This gives a lot of control, but it can slow down conversations.
  • Post-moderation: Content appears online first and is checked after. This method allows for instant interaction, but needs a quick response to handle harmful content.
  • Reactive moderation: Users flag inappropriate content themselves. This method relies on user proactivity, and it doesn’t always catch everything.
  • Automated moderation: Using AI and machine learning, this method filters content in real-time based on pre-defined rules and patterns. It's fast, but can sometimes miss context.
  • Distributed moderation: Users vote on whether content is appropriate. This can make them feel involved in the moderation process, but can lead to biased decisions.
  • Hybrid approaches: This includes any combination of the above methods to balance effectiveness and efficiency.

Step by step: How content moderation works

Setting rules

The first step in content moderation is to establish clear guidelines to define what content is acceptable. This requires an understanding of the platform's audience, balancing free speech with user protection, considering cultural differences and taking legal requirements into account.


Detection mechanisms can use a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and human powers.

  • Automated detection: Automated systems use algorithms and machine learning models to analyze and flag content that potentially violates guidelines.
  • Human review: Human moderators can review content that has been flagged either by automated systems, or by users. Human judgment is essential for context, especially in complex cases which machines could misinterpret.

Review and evaluation

Some review cases might be straightforward, like clear violations of rules which prohibit nudity. Others might require a nuanced understanding of context. In these cases, moderators evaluate the flagged content to decide whether it violates the platform’s rules. Once the content is reviewed, a decision is made to remove, permit, or sometimes, escalate it.

Continuous improvement

The final step in the content moderation workflow is the feedback loop. Moderation isn’t a static process: it’s always evolving as new challenges emerge. Platforms revise their guidelines and train their algorithms based on new data, moderator feedback, and user reports.

Bodyguard’s content moderation solution

While social media networks and other online platforms can perform content moderation, it is generally ineffective. They just can't keep up with the volume of comments and the ever-changing language people use to post toxic messages that bypass their filters. That's why brands, businesses and people still see toxic content on their pages, which should have been flagged and removed: and why they can benefit from using a superior content moderation solution.

That's where Bodyguard comes in.

Our content moderation solution seamlessly blends Artificial Intelligence with human insight, so it can make careful, accurate, and nuanced moderation decisions.

We use smart algorithms alongside the knowledge of language experts. These algorithms help our AI understand the nuances of language, so it can tell the difference between harmful content and harmless conversations.

So that our moderation is as accurate as it can be, we also include humans in our process. On the rare occasion our analysis is not unequivocal, the content is passed to a real person to review. This way, difficult decisions are double-checked by someone who can understand from a human perspective.

Our solution is flexible, so it can be adjusted to suit the needs of each user, including the kind of content that is removed or allowed. Whether it's removing insults, stopping hate speech, or protecting your brand reputation, you can customize the settings to match your preferences.

And we're always improving. If our system identifies harmless content as harmful, we analyze what went wrong, learn from it, and use that information to make our system smarter. This way, we're constantly getting better at keeping online spaces safe and inclusive for everyone.

Protect your online spaces, with a content moderation tool

Content moderation is crucial for maintaining the integrity and safety of online spaces. It involves a complex workflow designed to balance speed and accuracy, incorporating both technological and human solutions.

Bodyguard uses the best of both worlds: smart technology and human expertise. With Bodyguard, brands and businesses can ensure that their online spaces remain safe and respectful, and that their reputation is unharmed.

If you think that content moderation might benefit your brand, contact us today and we’ll put you on the right path to protecting your online presence and communities.

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