Human-Machine Collaboration for Content Regulation: The Case of Reddit Automoderator

Shagun Jhaver, Iris Birman, Eric Gilbert and Amy Bruckman (2019) “Human-Machine Collaboration for Content Regulation: The Case of Reddit Automoderator,” ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), doi: 10.1145/3338243


What one may say on the internet is increasingly controlled by a mix of automated programs, and decisions made by paid and volunteer human moderators. On the popular social media site Reddit, moderators heavily rely on a configurable, automated program called ‘Automoderator’ (or ‘Automod’). How do moderators use Automod? What advantages and challenges does the use of Automod present? We participated as Reddit moderators for over a year, and conducted interviews with 16 moderators to understand the use of Automod in the context of the sociotechnical system of Reddit. Our findings suggest a need for audit tools to help tune the performance of automated mechanisms, a repository for sharing tools, and improving the division of labor between human and machine decision making. We offer insights that are relevant to multiple stakeholders — creators of platforms, designers of automated regulation systems, scholars of platform governance, and content moderators.

BibTeX citation

        author = {Jhaver, Shagun and Birman, Iris and Gilbert, Eric and Bruckman, Amy},
        title = {Human-Machine Collaboration for Content Regulation: The Case of Reddit Automoderator},
        journal = {ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact.},
    year = {2019},
    volume = {26}, 
    number = {5},
    url = {},
    doi = {10.1145/3338243},
    publisher = {ACM},