Models / QR code moderation

QR Code Moderation in Images/Videos


The QR Code Moderation API is useful to detect if an image or video contains QR codes and determine if the content of those QR codes is problematic.

Problematic QR codes are ones that contain profanity, or personal information, or links to bad websites and URLs such as adult content, malware, illegal or otherwise unwanted content. The API will tell you what type of content has been found in QR codes, if any.

Just like our other Image Moderation APIs, this API performs the analysis entirely automatically. There are no humans reviewing your content. This helps us achieve very fast turnaround times — less than a second — and very high scalablity.

boxes showing a qr code found on a sleeve with a link to a harmful website
Image containing a flagged QR code linking to a harmful website


The QR Code Moderation API is a robust way to sanitize images or videos that might contain QR codes. It works for images with multiple QR codes, and works out-of-the-box with QR codes of various sizes and under different angles.

The QR Code Moderation API for Images works in several steps:

  1. Detection of QR codes contained in the image
  2. Decoding of the QR code content
  3. Analysis of the content through our moderation engine


  • Protect users from nefarious links embedded in QR codes
  • Restrict bypass techniques attempting to lure your users away to other websites/apps through QR codes
  • Flag users posting profanity, obscene or illegal content through QR codes

Link and URL Moderation in QR codes

Links and URLs will be detected and flagged as such in QR codes. They will be returned under the link key in the API response. Here is an example:

    "qr": {
        "link": [
                "type": "url",
                "match": "",
                "category": "unsafe"

In addition to detecting URLs in QR codes, you can also moderate the link to determine if the link is unsafe, contains adult or unwanted content or is deceptive, through the category field. More details are available on the URL and link moderation page

Profanity Detection in QR codes

Profanity Detection will enable you to detect insults, discriminatory content, sexual content or other inappropriate words and phrases in your images.

It is a lot stronger than word-based filters. It uses advanced language analysis to detect objectionable content, even when users specifically attempt to circumvent your filters. It covers obfuscation techniques such as repetitions, insertions, spelling mistakes, leet speak and more. Learn more on our Text Moderation Engine.

    "qr": {
        "profanity": [
                "type": "insult",
                "match": "idiot",
                "intensity": "medium"

Personal Information Detection in QR codes

Email addresses

Email addresses will be detected and flagged as such in the image.

Phone numbers

Phone numbers will be detected and flagged as such in the image.

You can select the countries to be covered through the opt_countries parameter. Provide a comma-separated list of the ISO 3166 2-letter country codes. For instance us for the United-States, fr for France. See the full list of supported countries.

If you do not specify any country, the API will default to the following list of countries: United States us, France fr, United Kingdom gb

Languages and Recommendations


English is the default language used for the profanity filtering.

You can set a different language with the opt_lang parameter. To do so use the following codes:

English (default)en
Tagalog / Filipinotl

Other languages are available upon request. Please get in touch.

Use the model

If you haven't already, create an account to get your own API keys.

Detect unwanted QR codes in an image

Let's say you want to moderate the following image:

You can either upload a public URL to the image, or upload the raw binary image. Here's how to proceed if you choose to share the image's public URL:

curl -X GET -G '' \
    -d 'models=qr-content' \
    -d 'api_user={api_user}&api_secret={api_secret}' \
    --data-urlencode 'url='

# this example uses requests
import requests
import json

params = {
  'url': '',
  'models': 'qr-content',
  'api_user': '{api_user}',
  'api_secret': '{api_secret}'
r = requests.get('', params=params)

output = json.loads(r.text)

$params = array(
  'url' =>  '',
  'models' => 'qr-content',
  'api_user' => '{api_user}',
  'api_secret' => '{api_secret}',

// this example uses cURL
$ch = curl_init(''.http_build_query($params));
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
$response = curl_exec($ch);

$output = json_decode($response, true);

// this example uses axios
const axios = require('axios');

axios.get('', {
  params: {
    'url': '',
    'models': 'qr-content',
    'api_user': '{api_user}',
    'api_secret': '{api_secret}',
.then(function (response) {
  // on success: handle response
.catch(function (error) {
  // handle error
  if (error.response) console.log(;
  else console.log(error.message);

The API will then return a JSON response:

    "status": "success",
    "request": {
        "id": "req_22Qd0gUNmRH4GCYLvYtN6",
        "timestamp": 1512483673.1405,
        "operations": 1
    "qr": {
        "personal": [],
        "link": [
                "type": "url",
                "match": ""
        "social": [],
        "profanity": []
    "media": {
        "id": "med_22Qdfb5s97w8EDuY7Yfjp",
        "uri": ""

Any other needs?

See our full list of Text models for details on other filters and checks you can run on your text content. You might also want to check our Image & Video models to moderate images and videos. This includes moderation of text in images/videos.

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