WPPhotos Moderator Training

This tutorial onboards new moderators, allowing them to begin moderating as soon as they’re finished following the tutorial.

Learning outcomes

  1. The moderator will know how to check to see if a photo has been lifted from another site.
  2. The moderator will be able to detect if the photo breaks any of the submission rules.
  3. The moderator will be able to successfully moderate a photo.

Comprehension questions

  1. What is TinEYE?
  2. What should be watched for when moderating photos of cars?
  3. Are people allowed in the photos?


The video references a Chrome/Brave extension that facilitates moderation. It can be found in the Chrome store.


Welcome to the WP photos moderation walkthrough, I’m Topher. This video is going to show you how to go through the moderation process of photos, I’m going to point out some things that you should do, should not do, and many things that are optional. We’re going to start here at wordpress.org, go to community photo directory. And in the top right, we’re going to log in. And this is your normal wordpress.org, username and password.

And then once you’re logged in, in the top left, you should see a link to a dashboard for the WordPress folder directory. And here we are. Now on the left, you’ll see the photos menu item. The red 129 means there are 129 photos to be moderated. And you don’t want the photos option you want the queue. And right here, I’m going to pause and point something out. I’m using the Brave browser. And you could also use Chrome. And if you do there is this extension in the Chrome Web Store made by Marcus, that makes the process a lot easier. And I really recommend you get it, we can use either Chrome or Brave, I will point out some of the things that it does for you. Normally, the oldest photo is at the top of the list. But with this extension, it takes all the first-time contributor photos and puts them at the top so that their photos get moderated a little earlier. And they feel a little more taken care of as they’re coming in the door. If you did not have this extension, it would look like this. So you can see the last modified here is the 19th of May. Whereas this was the 26th. So let’s take a look at what you’re going to see on this page. What’s really important is things like these flags. Now, all these blue ones are first-time contributors. So they’re all gonna say no published photo. This one says there’s a face detected. Now Google decides that they’re AI. And it could be completely wrong. So don’t just assume that you can reject it. Because you see this flag. You will also see some that are blurred out. And this one says racy and spoof, it’ll blur it whether thinks it’s racy or a spoof. And again, it’s Google’s AI deciding this. And I’d like to point out that I have never ever in this process in the system seen a racy or spoof image, it’s almost always something perfectly normal that Google didn’t understand. Now, that said, you are under no obligation to click on a blurry picture and see what’s in there. If you just want to skip it and not mess with it, that’s totally fine. Let’s go down some more. There’s another racy spoof. Another face detected, lets get down out of the, here we go. You’ll occasionally see it has rejections, this was not a good one, because it was, there some broken images, although we should talk about that. Sometimes you’ll get some submissions without images. Just leave them somebody will take care of them.

All right. So here’s a face detected has rejections. Rejections are totally fine. Anybody who does this, any amount of time, will get many. For example. Here’s Josh Pollock. He has 24 rejections. On the other hand, he has 203 approved. He’s a known trusted user. So the fact that he has rejections doesn’t, doesn’t put me off at all. So let’s click to edit one. We’ll start at the top here. Birds at mustard land.

You’re gonna see a number of photos that the descriptions are written by people who, English is not their first language. And so we’ll talk about how to how to deal with that. So we click edit right here. And I want to talk about a few things that, again, the Chrome extension does that the other does not. For example, there’s a button here to convert to sentence case. In this case, I bet it’s just going to put a period at the end. Nope, didn’t even do that. But it can fix weird cases, sensitivity, etcetera. I actually never use it. But you’re welcome to. Check Tineye is a service that checks to see where this photo might be out on the internet. So let’s click it. And it’s searching the entire Internet. And it did not find another copy of this anywhere. I use this button a lot with new people because they often don’t realize that they’re not allowed to steal a cool image from some other site and submit it. People who’ve been around a while usually don’t do that. That’s one. So you see the the Tineye button is not here. Another big difference is the color tags are colored with the Chrome extension over here they’re not. And then oh, latest photos by this author. This is a first-time submitter so there’s nothing here. But if this person had submitted others, you would see all their old pictures here. And you could see general quality of work, what they’ve done in the past that sort of thing. Without that extension, you don’t get that option here. So let’s start at the top and talk about what we’re doing here. This text here is the alt text for the image. And so you need to describe this image to someone who is blind. What do we see here, we see birds standing on fence posts in a field with looks like a storm in the background, very stormy sky. The original describer said mustard land, I’m gonna guess this is a mustard field. So we can use the text they send in addition to what we’re going to write. So let’s put in birds sitting on the fence posts along the edge of a mustard field deeply stormy sky in the background. There. So then we have to pick categories, you don’t want to pick more than, more than, probably not more than two ever. I never do. Animals in nature usually go together. And then we’ve got colors. So Grey is a dominant color. Black is the bird, green is the field. So we’re gonna leave it at that even though there’s a tiny bit of orange, we don’t care, tags, Oh something else, I want to point out the categories, colors, and tags. When you first come here, were all just made up by Google. So they could be completely wrong. And there’s no one out there, that’s going to feel bad. If you disagree, just the Googlebot. So feel free to just throw them all away. Often I delete every tag that that it’s suggested, and start over. So I’m not going to put it in beak because that’s really minor. But we’ll leave bird. Sky is a tough one because there’s a sky in almost every picture. We try to only leave sky if it has a significant part of the photo. Significant meaning in this case, the sky is a lot of the photo and it’s dark. That’s I mean that’s, that’s, that’s a feature. So I’m going to also put in fence, fence post, field, and that’s probably it. Anytime a location is mentioned by the submitter, I include it so that you can know if it’s from a particular state in India or particular city in in Austria or something like that. So then we come down here and you could save as pending, I never do. But if you were half done and you just wanted to put it back and not do anything to it, you could. This is the rejection spot. And these are the possible reasons you could reject. They basically reflect the rules that the person had to agree with when they submitted it. Some people just don’t pay attention. I’ve had, I mean, you’re not allowed to have human faces, I’ve had people upload a selfie of just their face. They just weren’t paying attention. Another very common one is privacy. Where’s that?

I’m sure you can see it already, right here, essentially violates privacy. This one happens by accident a lot. Because if you get a picture of a city street, and there is a license plate, it fails just like that. If you take a picture of a neighborhood, and there are street signs and house numbers, that’s no good because then you know exactly where that was. So these happen a lot by accident. The other one that happens a lot is insufficient image quality. People just don’t realize how blurry they are. Or maybe the horizon is tipped sideways or whatever. Once you choose these, one of these, the publish button goes away, and the reject button turns red. And that’s all you can click. If you reject, it’s polite to put in a reason. Occasionally, you may need to put in a moderators-only note and save as pending. I don’t think I’ve ever done it. So then I’m going to click publish.

Now, with the without the extension, if you click publish, it’s simply going to go back to the queue. With the Chrome extension, it goes to a next photo. And we jumped ahead to Josh, we talked about Josh earlier. So let’s talk about his because he does a really good job usually. Let’s see what our picture is. That’s something flowers, there’s a little bit of brick. Pink flowers with dangly little buds that haven’t totally become flowers yet at all. That works, as somebody who’s blind doesn’t care about the color, they don’t know that. But I will be content with that. Don’t need to convert a sentence case, I’m not going to check Tineye I because I know Josh and he’s not going to do that. Category is nature. Colors, green, and pink. And I’m gonna put in brown, there’s a lot of brick there. Then tags, let’s skip branch. We don’t put colors in here, because it’s a redundant, redundant taxonomy. Similarly, I wouldn’t put nature in as a tag because we have nature already. So these are actually hydrangeas. And you can see we’ve had other hydrangeas. And I’ll put in bud, and I’ll put in brick. And then we’ll publish. Now these are going at random. And I don’t necessarily want to do that. I want to go back to the top and start with new people again. I’m gonna take a risk and click on a recent one and show you what it what happens. Says Toothless dog. Okay, so this one’s gonna fail because it is extraordinarily blurry. I want something else I want to show you, you can click on this and get it full size. And then as you see, it’s just, it’s just really blurry. So that just we skip all the other stuff we go right to reject. And we say insufficient image quality. And this is their first image. So it may discourage them from trying again. So you want to help them feel like it’s not their fault. They can come back with a different one. Please keep trying, we appreciate you, etcetera. So I’m going to say this was quite blurry, but that’s a great dog. Could you try again with a clearer one that encourages him to come back and keep trying. Then we hit reject. And when you reject it goes back to the queue. So this one actually looks too blurry also, but we’ll see.

Okay, so this is a tough one. Because close up here, it’s quite blurry. But if you click through, you’ll note these are kind of clear. And so it’s forced perspective.

So I’m not sure about this one. This is one where you could take this URL and post it in the Moderator Slack channel, and get other people’s opinions. Or you could write a note down here and save as pending. Or you can just say, I’m going to leave it, somebody else will get it. There’s 126 photos, you can do 125 of them, and somebody will be happy to take care of that other one. This one’s interesting to me, because it says face detected and I see shoulders, but I don’t see a face. Okay, so there’s obviously no face. People are allowed as long as you can see faces. So this is actually pretty great, because we don’t have that many people photos, because faces aren’t allowed. So I particularly appreciate this one. However, the description is simply nature. Not very helpful. So what is this, this is a woman standing by a wall, looking over a vast expanse with mountains in the foreground, and a stormy sky. So let’s write that. There we go. Now, up here in the top right, you can see who the contributor is. And this link opens a new tab. Oh, it doesn’t, it was supposed to keep my description. No. All right, let’s try that again. Woman. Opening a new tab. You’ll see that this was taken by the Ranchi Joshi, who works at RTCamp, and you could contact her there. Additionally, you could open this other link, which is the profile page. And here’s the username. And if they’re on Slack, it will tell you their Slack name and you can find them there. Usually, you don’t contact the photographer, unless it’s really important. I do it occasionally for personal reasons. But I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna ask her about this woman or anything. So then nature does work as a category. But then there’s also people, there’s people here, we can do that. And we have a great sky, we have a red and yellow shirt, we have black hair, I’m gonna go with green because of the mountain. Leave it at that. Cloud is another tricky one because many photos have clouds. And they’re just not that important. In this case, they’re kind of a substantial part of the picture. So we’re gonna leave it, mountain, sky, again, we’re gonna leave it tartan. Nope, that’s not a Scottish tartan. Travel, this doesn’t have anything to do with travel. So now I’m going to put in view, vista, put in hair, that’s pretty great hair there. Um, because their hands on the wall there. And we’ll leave it at that.

And publish. That’s basically it. You make sure there’s good descriptive, descriptive text, you make sure the image is of good quality and not stolen. Your categories, colors and tags, and either reject or publish. And right now we have an extraordinarily high number. 125 is really high, usually doesn’t get up about 10 or 15 before somebody jumps in and clears them out. You are under no obligation to do any particular number. You could do one a day if you wanted, you could do 10 a day. You could spend your whole weekend and clear them out every weekend. Doesn’t matter. You are under no obligation to moderate any particular photo. You don’t have to start at the top and go through and do every one. There’s one you don’t want to do. Don’t do it, skip it. Communication is useful. We like to chit chat in the Moderator room. We point out pictures that could be problematic, maybe they’re not, we don’t know, we have a discussion. Somebody else may come through and moderate a photo that you are working on and unsure about. That’s fine. That’s just the way it goes. So I want to encourage you that your, your help is valued, but not required. Add if you don’t want to do this, don’t do it and if you do, have a good time.

So thank, you thank you for what you do, I appreciate it.

Workshop Details