Moderating your chat is key to maintaining a welcoming online environment. Whether you offer one-to-one messaging or huge group chats, you can take steps to prevent any inappropriate, offensive or harmful content from being shared on your platform. Moderating your chat helps you safeguard your users, grow engagement, and uphold your reputation as a safe and reliable platform that users can trust.

This article will give you an overview of chat moderation features available in TalkJS. It will cover chat monitoring, moderation of both message content and user behavior, as well as options for integrating third-party moderation tools.

Table of contents

  • Use cases for chat moderation
  • Monitor your chat
  • Automatically filter messages
  • Handle inappropriate messages
  • User-level moderation
  • Integrations for advanced moderation
  • Closing

  • Use cases for chat moderation

    When is chat moderation a good idea? Consider the following use cases:

    • Marketplace: As a marketplace, you want to detect and remove spam messages and inappropriate comments, and prevent personal contact details from being shared in your chat, to avoid users getting scammed or taking business off-platform.
    • Education: In education, you want students and instructors to have a safe space to interact, and to ensure that all content shared is appropriate. This may mean filtering out inappropriate language and bullying, to create a platform with a positive learning experience.
    • Healthcare: In healthcare settings, it is crucial to protect patient privacy and ensure that confidential information is treated with the highest care. With automated moderation filters you can scan and filter for sensitive and confidential information, such as personally identifying information (PII) in all messages records.
    • Customer support: With a live customer support chat, you can filter and remove abusive language and inappropriate content to make sure your customer support agents have a safe and respectful work environment.
    • Online gaming: Gaming can be intense. To ensure that all gamers feel safe, welcome and will want to remain on your platform, you can moderate to prevent harmful, offensive, or toxic comments in online gaming communities.
    • Livestreams and online events: With livestreams and online events you can have tens of thousands of participants connected at same time. You can filter inappropriate words or comments to offer attendees a great experience and a venue they’ll want to return to.

    Whatever your situation, you can use TalkJS’s range of features to monitor and moderate your chat to offer a safe and respectful environment for your users.

    Monitor your chat

    Effective moderation starts with insight. With the analytics and monitoring dashboard, you can moderate interactions between users and check users’ chat history directly from the Activity page of your TalkJS dashboard.

    Analyze overall user activity to see how many people are using the chat, the number of conversations they’re having, and how many messages they've sent over the last day, week, month, or 30-day period.

    Two overviews from the monitoring dashboard. On the left an overview with the heading ‘Analytics’, with information on the number of users created, active users, the number of conversations created, active conversations, and the number of messages sent during a 7-day time frame. On the right an overview with the heading ‘Conversation details’ with conversation metadata, including the conversation ID, participants, subject, photo URL, welcome message and custom details for the conversation. At the bottom there is a blue button with ‘Export Conversation Data’, and below that a red button with ‘Delete conversation’.
    Analytics and conversation details from the activity monitoring dashboard

    If you need to dig deeper, you can check who talks to whom in the conversation history overview, or monitor chat activity and metadata for individual conversations.

    The monitoring dashboard lets you jump in when necessary and delete messages or conversations, so you can stay in full control of the communications on your platform.

    Automatically filter messages

    A core aspect of moderating is to ensure that no harmful or inappropriate content is shared in your chat. TalkJS has a range of tools ready for you to automate content moderation, or to take manual action for nuanced cases that require a human decision.

    Blocklists and content filtering

    Word blocklists (sometimes called ‘blacklists’) allow you to prevent specific words or word patterns from being posted in your chat. In your TalkJS dashboard you can add an existing list of words, or specify your own custom list of patterns to suppress–as well as exceptions to permit–using JavaScript regular expressions.

    For detailed guidance on how to set up a word blocklist for content moderation, see: How to add a word blocklist for content moderation.

    Suppress contact details and personally identifying information

    In some cases it’s not just any information that you want to avoid being shared, but a specific type of information—namely contact details or personally identifiable information. For example, as a marketplace, you may want to prevent buyers and sellers from taking business away from your platform. Or in educational settings, you can block contact details sharing as a way to safeguard students. And as a provider in healthcare settings, you are often legally bound to ensure confidentiality of patient data.

    Two chat interfaces. On the left a chat in which a user shares an email address in plain text. On the right the same chat with the same messages, but here the email address has been replaced with the text '(contact information was hidden)'.
    Suppress contact information in a chat

    TalkJS allows you to automatically suppress a range of personal information, including email addresses, phone numbers, or links to specific websites. This way you can ensure user safety and organizational control without the need for extensive manual monitoring.

    For more information on suppressing personal contact information, see:

    Prevent spamming

    Sometimes messages are inappropriate not because of any specific word or phrase, but because of how things are said or the broader posting behavior and context. Using built-in anti-spam features, including link blocking, disallowing mentions, or preventing shouting (all caps messaging), with TalkJS you can reduce the risk of spam messaging in your chat. This way, you can keep your channels clean and protect your community.

    For more on preventing spam messaging behavior in your chat, see: How to prevent spam messaging.

    Handle inappropriate messages

    What if unwanted content does make it through into your chat? Then you want to be able to take action. Either automatically, or through having the option of manual intervention. With TalkJS, post-moderation gives you multiple ways to respond to unwanted content.

    Send a warning

    If a user has posted something that does not fit your platform standards, then—in addition to removing the inappropriate content—you could give the user the option to improve their behavior, by sending a warning into the conversation. In TalkJS you can use webhooks to automatically send a system message and to remind everyone of your community guidelines.

    For more information on how to automatically send system messages, see: Automatically reply to chat messages using TalkJS webhooks.

    Report a message

    In addition to automatically moderating your chat, you can empower users by giving them the option to report any messages that they find problematic. In TalkJS, you can use custom action buttons to build a button on a message for a user to report a message directly from their chat.

    A chat message with hovering over it a pop-up with two possible message actions: ‘Reply’ and ‘Report’.
    Report a message

    For details on how to build a custom reporting action button, see:

    Remove a message

    When inappropriate content does get through into your chat, you might want to remove it from the conversation entirely, so that your chat remains a safe and respectful environment. You can use the TalkJS REST API to remove any inappropriate messages.

    For more information on how to remove a message with the REST API, see: Delete a message.

    User-level moderation

    In addition to content moderation, TalkJS also provides you with the tools to take steps to make moderation interventions for your chat at the user level. This includes identity verification, using roles for moderation purposes, and banning a user from your platform altogether.

    Verify user identity

    Identity verification ensures that users on your platform are who they say they are. TalkJS identity verification uses digital signatures to prove that the current user identified to TalkJS is really the user logged-in on your platform. As such, verifying user identity can help you prevent impersonation, fraud, and other inappropriate interactions on your platform.

    For more details on how to set up identity verification, see: Identity verification.

    Assign user roles

    You’re not limited to having just one type of user. With TalkJS user roles, you can create different user roles, where each role has different permissions and capabilities to share data and perform actions in the chat—think of roles such as buyer and seller, teacher and student, doctor and patient, organizer and attendee, or administrator and regular user. You could, for instance, give administrators more permissions to remove content, or allow regular users only to read and respond to messages.

    Overview of the Roles page on the TalkJS dashboard, with introductory text about what roles are, and a list with three roles: Admin, Moderator, and Participant. For each of the roles, there are buttons to edit the chat UI settings or notification settings, as well as to copy this role to the Live environment. Below the list of roles is a button with the text ‘Create role’.
    Examples of user roles

    Permissions that you can adjust per role include allowing:

    • File sharing
    • Location sharing
    • Mentions (the ability to @mention a user)
    • Recording voice messages
    • Delete a message
    • Edit a message
    • Reply to a message
    • Give an emoji reaction to a message

    As well as custom message actions and custom conversation actions.

    As part of moderation actions, if a user has violated your community guidelines, you could for example temporarily assign them to a different role with read-only permissions as a cool-down measure.

    Assigning user roles with different permissions and responsibilities can help you maintain a regulated environment in your chat.

    For more information about user roles and role-based permissions, see:

    Also consider differentiating between participants and guest users for your chat.

    Control access rights

    One way to control chat dynamics as part of chat moderation is to adjust a user's access rights to a conversation. In TalkJS, each user has one of three distinct levels of access to any conversation: full read-write access, read-only access, or no access at all. You can control a user’s access either from your frontend using the JavaScript SDK, or from your backend with the REST API. With fine-grained access rights, you decide who takes part in which conversation, and in what way, giving you more granular control over your chat environment.

    For details on how to change a user’s access rights to a conversation, see: Access rights.

    Block a user

    In case a user repeatedly posts inappropriate content or spam, you can decide to ban that user from all conversations on your platform altogether. TalkJS allows you to block users using the REST API. Once you block or ban a problematic user, that prevents any further interaction with that user, and so makes your platform a safer and more welcoming environment for everyone.

    For more information on banning a user, see: How to ban users from all chats with TalkJS.

    Integrations for advanced moderation

    TalkJS’s automated and manual moderation tools will provide you with a solid basis for moderating your platform. However, if you would still like to take your moderation options further, then you have everything you need to integrate third-party moderation tools. For example, you could integrate tools based on recent developments in AI to moderate written text using content analysis. Or you could expand your screening also to cover multimedia, such as any images, video, or audio recordings shared in your chat, for a comprehensive approach to a moderated chat experience for your users.

    For integrating third-party moderation solutions, see the following reference documentation:


    Effective chat moderation is key in creating a safe and welcoming online space. TalkJS offers extensive automated content filtering, options for manual intervention, user-level moderation, and integrations for dedicated moderation tools. This way, you can proactively monitor and moderate chats across a range of scenarios, to offer an engaging, trusted environment for all users.

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