Case Study: Skout - Content Moderation

Learn how Scout moderates thousands of images in minutes.

Result: 20% savings on staffing and reduced turnaround to under 10 minutes


“When we first received dating profile photos, we had two interns looking at grids of 100 photos at a time and they were still slow and couldn’t keep up with the volume. We didn’t want our users waiting 48 hours for content moderation. CrowdFlower has three people look at every job and it’s a maximum of ten minutes for content review.”

— Christian Wiklund, CEO, Skout


The Company

Skout hosts today’s largest and fastest- growing network for meeting new people. The company’s mobile application uses a smartphone’s global positioning system to help people identify potential dates, interact with like-minded people, and connect with friends in their immediate vicinity.


The Challenge

The Need for Speed

To maintain the integrity of the community and the service the company provides, Skout must keep a close watch on the image content that users submit to its website. The two interns initially tasked with monitoring content had trouble handling the workload. As the number of incoming photos rose to the millions, turnaround times for content moderation became progressively longer resulting in a frustrating user experience.

The option of hiring an internal staff large enough to accelerate turnaround times without compromising accuracy would be prohibitively expensive and wouldn’t afford Skout the flexibility to scale its labor force to changing demands. Traditional outsourcing solutions also posed potential problems, including management challenges and quality issues.

Skout needed a quality-driven, cost- efficient alternative that would promote customer retention and satisfaction by ensuring its site remains free from offensive and inappropriate content without subjecting users to long waits for content moderation.


The Solution

Real-Time Content Moderation from the Crowd

With CrowdFlower’s on-demand labor force, Skout now has enough workers 24/7. Combined with CrowdFlower’s advanced technology platform, this scalable workforce has enabled Skout to streamline the review process and cut costs without sacrificing quality. In fact, the crowdsourced solution has delivered superior results at a fraction of the cost of internal hires or contract workers.

CrowdFlower’s review process is designed to maximize the quality of the data it reports. Each image submitted to the site is assessed by three reviewers whose judgments are automatically crosschecked to determine the best response.

The Results

Empowered to Grow

Since partnering with CrowdFlower, Skout has reduced wait times for content review to a maximum of 10 minutes. The company has also saved 20% on staffing costs. Thanks to these efficiency gains, Skout can focus its energies and resources on its core competencies.

For fast-growing companies like Skout, CrowdFlower labor-on-demand is proving critical for success. Over the past year as Skout’s user community expanded exponentially, CrowdFlower’s workforce rose to the challenge, moderating more than 5 million images while continuing to provide real-time turnarounds and high quality results.

The icing on the cake is that CrowdFlower’s clients pay only for tasks that have been completed at the desired quality level. Skout is so impressed with the return on its investment in a crowdsourced solution that it’s considering using CrowdFlower for profile verification and spam moderation.



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