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Screening Images With Crowdflower

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The digital age has introduced many tasks that require the collaborative effort of hundreds or even thousands of people in different parts of the world. Crowdsourcing is a method of using a virtual workforce to perform a task generally performed by a team of workers. Crowdflower uses their virtual workforce to process complicated and time consuming tasks into manageable bits so it can be accomplished by crowd workers. One of the ways this technique is used is to sort out images and make sure they meet the standards of the site owner using RTFM – Real Time Foto Moderator.



Crowdflower was established in 2007 by Lukas Biewald and Chris Van Pelt. Initially the company was established to provide enterprise solution for processing and creating very large amounts of information. Crowdflower uses 3 million contributors around the world to perform these tasks for companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, AT&T and many other Fortune 500 companies.



Image Screening Process

If you have a social site with thousand of pictures being submitted daily the task of screening every image for objectionable content can be time consuming and very expensive. Crowdflower’s RTFM has an Application Program Interface API that manages your content in real-time.

  • The result of the screening process is returned in less than 15 minutes 24/7 everyday of the year.
  • 99% accuracy to date
  • Scalable for images ranging from 50 to 50,000,000
  • Low cost pricing


The pricing depends on the number of images you have. You can get up to 500 images moderated for free and services can start at $100 per month.



The Moderators

Each moderator screening the image for Crowdflower follows strict rules in screening an image for a customer. The rules include a strict rule and a more lenient rule. The customer chooses the type of ruleset they want to apply regarding the images they want on their site. The images are rated, scored and the state of the image is posted in an API setting for the customer.

  • Score – an image is given a score ranging from 0 – 1 which is calculated from moderator responses, 0 is rejected and 1 is approved
  • Rating – a rating of less than 0.5 is rejected and a rating greater than 0.5 is approved
  • States – the state of each picture is posted so you can see what is taking place
States May include:
  • Processing – when the image is being moderated
  • On hold – insufficient funds in the account
  • Completed – the image has been screened


An image is approved after several moderators agree on the rating of an image. This is an important part of the process because what is objectionable to one person might be fine to another.


Image Rejection

Images are rejected based on many different criteria. Most of the rejections are made because there is sexually explicit or overly suggestive images being submitted by users. Other criteria for rejecting an image include violence, profanity, copyrighted materials and advertising.


Crowdflower Services

RTFM is one of many services Crowdflower provides. If your website needs real solutions to monitor how your users interact with your site they provide many critical functions. Some of the solutions they provide include:

  • Categorization – for e-commerce sites with thousands of different products
  • Search Relevance – training internal algorithms for websites to make more pertinent search results
  • Content Generation –  content creation with SEO at scale
  • List Verification and Enrichment – verifying the site, contact, business and other supplemental information
  • Attribute Collection – collecting detailed information about a product such as function, dimension and other specification
  • Sentiment Analysis – rating the sentiments of users on social sites and blogs from comments or any other content
  • Transcription – converting images, text or handwritten documents into digital formats


Whether you have a social media site or you are running an e-commerce you have to interact with your customers. This generally means exchanging information with image, video and other content. A service like RTFM ensures the content posted by your users will always be screened.


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