Understanding Content Moderation Types


May 31, 2023

Written by

Milliscent Lucio

The internet is a vast space. By "vast," this means roughly half of the world's population, give or take. It's filled with people from all over the world; people from various cultures; people with various interests; and everything in between.

Unlike in the early days of the internet, when it was almost a free for all, that is no longer the case. There should be norms and guidelines, people should be courteous, and some things are simply not acceptable.

Content moderation is quickly put into place in certain parts of the internet to create or maintain a safe space. Content moderation ensures that all posted content is reviewed and then evaluated.

Let’s have a look at the different types of content moderation.

Types of Content Moderation

1. Pre-Moderation

Pre-moderation is part of the content moderation process where moderators look over content before it is made public. Pre-moderation is part of the content moderation process where moderators look over content before it is made public. A moderator reviews the queue of these submitted posts to ensure that they follow the rules and do not include any improper information.

2. Post-Moderation

Post-moderation, as opposed to pre-moderation, means that the content is published and visible as soon as it is made. Only after it has been published will a copy or a ticket be queued for review by the moderator.

3. Reactive Moderation

Reactive moderation means that the users of the platform, not just the moderators, are responsible for deciding whether or not to approve content. It's a good way to make sure that content in posts that have already been published hasn't slipped through other content moderation methods.

To alert the moderators, a report button is usually added in the post settings. Some have a list of violations to make it clear what is wrong, some have a text box where the user who is reporting can explain why, and some do a mix of both.

4. Distributed Moderation

Distributed moderation, like reactive moderation, is based on user feedback. Instead of waiting for reports and scanning through them all, distributed moderation employs a voting system to determine which content will be pushed up and which will be pushed down. The pushed-down content is then either hidden or removed by the moderators.

5. Automated Moderation

Automated moderation, as the word suggests, is a type of moderation that uses automation and filtering tools to do the bulk or whole job. It’s a cost-effective solution that takes less time and requires lesser personnel.

As technology progresses, so do the capabilities of automated moderation. Currently, these are some of the methods used by automated moderation:

  • Detecting if a word is in the list of banned words or phrases, either replacing a flagged word or not approving the whole content altogether.
  • A machine learning system that refines itself by analyzing all the content based on a programmed set of guidelines.
  • Categorizing banned or flagged content in terms of priority level, parameter conditions, and other filters.
  • Run the contents through the automated moderator for pre-screening before presenting the approved ones for manual moderation.
  • Banning an IP.


6. User-Powered Moderation

Reactive moderation is analogous to a moderator driving a car with users occasionally steering. Distributed moderation puts the user in control, with the moderator guiding them every now and then. User-powered moderation involves the user driving the car on their own.

Simply put, the users are the moderators. It’s the riskiest of the moderation types and is usually only recommended when it involves a small number of users.

Benefits of Content Moderation

  • It guards against misinformation.
  • It stonewalls hate speech and discrimination of all types.
  • It protects brand reputation with the assistance of an image moderation company
  • It improves search engine optimization and increases the likelihood of obtaining a favorable ranking in search engines.
  • It aids in providing information about the users.
  • It safeguards users against potentially triggering and inappropriate content.


Depending on the platform, the type of content, or the community, content moderation can be done in a variety of ways. Some require stricter management, while others require only minor intervention, and still, others do not require any intervention at all.

Content moderation should not be used to limit creativity, but rather to help create an environment in which it can flourish.

It is simply not possible for the internet to cater to a single standard. That is why spaces are designed to accommodate these differences, and those in charge of these spaces are responsible for keeping them in good condition.

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