Reviewing Flagged Photos

On OkCupid, many of our photos are removed with help from our community Flagged Photo Reviewers (aka a jury of your peers). These are members of OkCupid who are active and in good standing and help decide whether a photo violates our rules or not. 

If you've been invited to review photos and are not interested, no worries! No one should be under any obligation to do this, so please feel free to ignore it completely. If you don't want to see the link to the page anymore, just let us know via the contact link on the bottom right of this page and we can remove it for you. 

If you are interested, here's a guide for you! 

First: A full list of our photo rules is here. 🎉 This is continually updated and clarified as needed. If anything seems unclear, please ask staff via the contact button on this page. 

Second: a warning. People upload all sorts of photos to OkCupid. By participating in reviewing flagged photos, you may come across some disturbing or triggering content. We wish people didn't upload these types of photos, but they do. Again, if you don't want to participate, please don't — there's no pressure at all.

If you would like help, read on! 

Rules to follow

⭐️  As of April 2020, we have updated our photo rules to require a face in all Profile Photos. Non-face photos can be uploaded to Essays as usual.

These are guidelines for you to follow when reviewing flagged photos. Any violation of these rules may result in your photo review privileges being revoked, and in certain circumstances may also result in your OkCupid profile being banned.

  • Your vote should be only regarding the photo in question. 
    • All photos must adhere to all rules
    • If you are voting on a photo that violates the rules (i.e. a photo of a dog in the "Profile Photos" section) then you must vote to delete the photo, even if other photos in that section do not violate the rules
    • Remember: people can always upload a photo again to the appropriate place! 
  • You must vote according to our published photo rules. The rules are not open to interpretation and we try to make them as clear as possible. We do not tolerate willful disregard of our photo rules. If something seems unclear, feel free to contact OkCupid staff for clarification via the contact button on this page.
  • Do not communicate in any way with the person whose photo was flagged - any communication to someone should be from OkCupid staff. Please let us know if you think someone needs to be contacted about their photo or report.
  • In the case of any extreme photos or depictions of illegal activity, please escalate to staff via the “contact” button on this page, via email or via the person's profile. In most cases, the profile itself will already be flagged but please alert us to anything especially disturbing.
    • Examples of things to escalate to staff via contact form: minors/under 18 using the site, inappropriate photos involving minors, depictions of illegal activity (i.e. drugs).
    • Examples of things where you should just flag the profile: scammers, spam/bots, nude photos/ sexual profiles, fake/catfish profiles
  • We have a Slack channel where you are welcome to discuss photo rules. This channel is run by the photo review community but monitored by OkCupid staff.
  • You must remain respectful, civil, and kind in your comments in the photo voting tool. If you see someone making bad decisions or being hurtful or inappropriate in their comments, please report them to OkCupid staff. 

Making decisions

You can access the flagged photo review page via "Review Photos" on the main menu on Desktop, or the Settings page on mobile. 

Note: the mobile photo voting page is limited in features. We strongly recommend the desktop site for a better experience.

You will be evaluating images from both Profile Photos albums and other places (such as secondary albums and essays). These have different rules to follow.

Our full photo rules are here, with details on each category and examples. 

Examples of the notification you see when you're voting on a photo from an album, not Profile Photos.

How to vote on each type of photo violation

Mark as obscene: 

  • Nudity or overly sexual images 
  • Hateful imagery (white power/ nazi images, racist meme photos, etc). 
  • Any photos of anything overly violent, offensive, illegal, disturbing, etc. (photos with blood/gore, photos depicting violence, photos of drugs, etc). 
  • Any photos with text asking for money, i.e. a cash app or PayPal address
  • Remember to escalate to OkCupid staff if something is especially serious: minors/under 18 using the site, inappropriate photos involving minors, depictions of illegal activity (i.e. drugs), photos of extreme violence, etc. 


  • Photos in the profile photos album that do not show the person's face clearly.
  • Photos with contact information on them (including phone number, email address, kik, Facebook address, etc) - if it looks especially scammy, please flag profile as well
  • Photos of the user as a kid, or of kids but without the user in the photo as well. Photos of parents with their child(ren) are allowed. If there is a flag disputing permission to post a photo of a child, err on the side of caution and delete.
  • Any image where the copyright holder has asked to have it removed, or where we strongly suspect the user is not the copyright holder (e.g., stock photos). If you think the profile is a scammer/ bot, please flag the profile as well.

Leave Alone:

  • Photos in the “essays” section:
    • Do NOT have to be of the user or show their face; they can be of anything that does not break the above rules
    • Photos of tattoos, closeups, etc. can be uploaded to the essay section. We even have specific tattoo-related prompts! 

Commonly used abbreviations

You may see these abbreviations in comments:

RIS Reverse Image Search (preferred over TE/ GIS/ YIS)
(TE/ GIS/ YIS TinEye/ Google Image Search/ Yandex Image search)
ECU Extreme Close Up
FTD Filtered to Death 
OS Overtly Sexual
NTU Not The User
LA/ NV Leave Alone/ No Violation

Photo Review FAQs

Do you pay people to review photos?

We do have paid moderation staff members. They will make final decisions, handle escalated issues, ban profiles, etc. If you're interested in a job with us, we post job listings here
Reviewing photos (in this capacity) is totally optional and done on a volunteer basis. Some people like giving back to OkCupid after meeting their partner on here, others just like seeing what sorts of weird photos people upload and find it fun. 

If I flag a photo in the tool, does that mean I can't message that person from my own profile?

If you flag a photo or profile, it blocks that person from you. When someone is blocked, you will no longer see them on OkCupid and cannot message them (they also will not see you).

What is the profile album and what is the essay album? What can go in each? Can flagmods move photos from one folder to another?

Profile albums are all photos in the “photos” section of the profile. These are the main photos you see in Discover and at the top of someone’s profile. Profile photos must show the user's face and must not break any other rules.

Essay albums are photos that have been added as attachments to the text in essay prompts on their profile, i.e. a tattoo photo next to the essay about tattoos. Essay albums can be of anything as long as the user has copyright of the photo and it doesn’t break any other rules. IE photos of dogs, tattoos, sunsets, etc. are all allowed.

We cannot move photos from one folder to another. This is because the “essays” section is made up of a ton of different prompts, and it would be too confusing to assume you know which essay a photo should be inserted into. Instead, vote to delete the photo, and the user can re-upload the photo to their essays if they like.

If the user has at least one photo of themselves as a profile pic, do they need to be in other profile pics too?

Yes. All photos in the profile photos section must be of the person. However, they are free to upload other types of photos to their profile essays.

The reason for this is that the profile photos are used in various parts of the site (i.e. Discover) and may be all/most of what someone sees of a profile. If someone sees a profile represented by a photo of a dog or a foot or a sunset, they won't get enough info to decide if they want to Like the person or not. That's why we require all photos in the Profile Photos section to be of the person, and enough of the person to be representative of them. 

How can I verify whether a photo reported as being stolen or belonging to a scammer actually is?

You can do a Google Image or Yandex search to see if the photo shows up elsewhere. There is a photo search button on the voting page that will allow you to easily do this, we occasionally alternate between Google and Yandex depending which is reported to be working better.

Are couple's profiles allowed?

No. We only allow one person per profile (and only one profile per person- see our Community Guidelines). However, we do support non-monogamous relationships on OkCupid, and couples can have a profile per person and link the two profiles together to show they are in a relationship. They can also mark that they are looking to date non-monogamously and find others interested in the same. 

What's OkC's position on hand signs/gestures which may be viewed as fine in some parts of the world, yet obscene or otherwise offensive in others.  (gang signs/white supremacy/middle finger, mouth/tongue gestures, etc.)

If a photo can genuinely be seen as offensive to a group of people, and has been flagged as being offensive, it should be removed.  Note that there is a difference between being rude (middle finger) and offensive (nazi salute). This rule is specifically for gestures which are seen as offensive, i.e. they are derogatory to a group or class of people.
Remember that you can escalate to staff from this help page if something is particularly disturbing.

What action can I take when I see users consistently making false flags?

Let staff know, please! You can contact us via the button on this page.

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