3 moderation outsourcing option that you should know

    If you made almost a facebook, and thousands of users began to actively exchange photos, posts and comments, then over time you will find in the ribbon of the little girl Mila a photo of a long, strong male genital organ. And you will understand that the rules for using the service are good, but you still have to follow their implementation.

    In this article we will talk about what content moderation solutions exist today. During our market research, we found a considerable number of companies offering their services. We tried to classify them, describe their advantages and disadvantages.
    The whole market can be divided into 3 conditional groups:
    • Provision of staff;
    • Integrated into your project SaaS
    • Moderation using algorithms (robots)

    Let's look at all 3 groups in a bit more detail.

    Type1: Staffing

    Most of the market is made up of just such companies. Some of them specialize only in content moderation, but most often these are call-center services, technical support, and much more.

    Here are just a few of them:
    • ICUC (http://www.icucmoderation.com)
    • MicroSourcing (http://microsourcing.com)
    • Moravia (http://moravia.com)

    We believe that the number of such companies is determined by the availability of cheap labor in Thailand, the Philippines, India, and so on. Hence the low level of qualification of employees, and the overpriced price for moderation of content in languages ​​other than English.

    And in order to use the services of such companies, you will need several things at once:
    • Availability of own software. In order for the staff hired by you to carry out direct moderation, you will need to write an environment / program / web interface, where, apparently, there will be a list of unverified content, and moderators will click some buttons.
    • Training. Yes, exactly so: the companies themselves declare that before starting work you should hold a seminar and give out professional instructions. And all this at your expense!
    • Most companies of this kind require you to draw up a moderator’s work schedule, especially considering the time zones and corresponding languages.

    In simple terms, such companies are a big hangar on the outskirts of the Indian city, full of old computers and poor Indians, whose managers are ready to build staff anywhere, just to pay money there. There is no need to talk about quality.

    Type2: Integrated into your SaaS project

    The second category of companies has moved further in studying the problem of content moderation and provides its own technical solutions, including:
    • API and SDK for integration
    • Own moderation panel, in which their own staff works
    • Content Authentication Tools
    • Personal account for clients, where you can see reports, graphs, analytics, etc.

    Perhaps the most striking representative of this class is Crisp Thinking (http://crispthinking.com).

    This category seems much more attractive: the staff is already specially trained and familiar with the general problem of moderation; they work with their own software, and therefore are well acquainted with it; The API and SDK are documented and it is assumed that the client must handle the integration itself.

    However, not everything is so good. Initial integration involves creating moderation rules. And here the problems begin.

    For most companies, the API integration process is so complex that it can take several weeks!

    Of course, after all the difficulties and the integration is complete, the project completely forgets about moderation - the content automatically goes to the moderation system, the results also automatically come and are processed by the client’s application ... all that remains is to replenish the balance with a tidy sum every month ...

    Type3: Robots

    In the course of market research, we found companies that completely automate the process of content moderation, that is, without the participation of people. One typical representative is Keepcon (http://keepcon.com/).

    Automatic moderation is certainly cheaper than manual, but has a large number of problems. Moderation without “manual” control - without verification by real people - is ineffective.

    Firstly, it is extremely difficult to algorithmically calculate text that does not contain obscene words, but has an unacceptable character. For example, “A charming fairy will meet a kind gentleman in her apartment on the Shchukinskaya metro station” or hundreds of sophisticated phrases about selling drugs, such as “Hedgehog. Raccoon. Speed. Salt. SMS 8 901 *** ***** ”, for which you can quickly get acquainted with representatives of the rule of law. Now add to this the support of at least five languages. And ten!? ..

    The situation with images is even more deplorable: face recognition and erotic photo recognition algorithms are currently imperfect. Even in “laboratory” conditions, they give an unstable result, and in “field” conditions they have too high a percentage of errors and errors.

    Secondly, in most cases, we need to take into account the business logic of a particular project: for example, somewhere there should be only personal photographs of a particular user, with a clearly distinguishable face. The automatic moderation mode fails here - machines have not learned to take into account the subjective factor, only real people are capable of it.

    Both our experience and the experience of other projects suggests that automatic moderation is only suitable as a preliminary filter that can filter out clearly substandard content.


    With a technical description of existing solutions, we are done. Now let's move on to the fun part: compare prices!
    Prices were shocking. For a crowd of Indians who need to be trained at their own expense, they asked up to $ 111,600 per month!

    We really wanted to give you not just dry numbers, but to show prices on the example of a specific project. As a result, we contacted most of the leading companies that are represented on the market and asked everyone the same task: we need to check 200,000 units of content (photos, statuses, names) in 4 languages ​​per month.

    Let's see what happened:

    • HTC  
      • Price: $ 10,000 per month

    • ICUC
      • Price: $ 111,600 per month
      • One of Setup fee: $ 7,500

    • Source fit
      • $ 9600 ~ $ 15,600 per month, depending on the qualifications of the moderators

    • Microsourcing
      • $ 15,000 ~ $ 20,000 per month, depending on the qualifications of the moderators

    • Moravia
      • Price: $ 54,000 per month

    • Crisp thinking
      • Price: $ 25,000 per month
      • One of Setup fee: $ 10,000

    At the same time, all companies have a very clear approach to adding another language: “pay for each separately.” Thus, if instead of 4 languages ​​you need 8, then the price tag for the month will increase by 2 times. As a result, 32 languages ​​at ICUC will cost $ 0.9 million per month. Awesome!


    In the course of the study, we tried not only to classify existing companies. We tried to proceed from the role of a standard project generating UGC, a social mobile application. And our task was to find an easy, inexpensive way to moderate content that does not require a lot of time to integrate with existing code.

    So, you have a project that is gaining an audience, do you want a ready-made solution that can be connected within a few days and forget about the problem with checking the content, staff, admin panel development? Of all the above, apparently, only Crisp Thinking is suitable for you, but prepare $ 25,000 per month.

    Naturally, this article was written not just like that, but to draw attention to the moderation problem and our 2Hive.org content moderation service .

    2Hive.org can cope with the voiced problem
    for $ 4000 per month, in 32 languages.

    Once we had our own need for content moderation, and 2Hive.org emerged as a way to solve it. First of all, we wanted to make the service very easy to use, and secondly, very budget. And we have fully complied with both requirements. And how, read in our future articles.

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