Lentil User Guide

What is Lentil

Lentil is an open-source program created by the North Carolina State University Libraries that allows for the harvesting of Instagram images through the use of hashtags. Using tagsets created by administrators, the program pulls photos from Instagram into the program's administrator dashboard along with the photo's description and tags. A tag was a hashtag related to an event, group, or campaign. All images using a certain hashtag are pulled to the administration dashboard, where admin can decide to place the image in a collection or not. The program cannot differentiate if an Instagram user is affiliated with the harvesting institution and collects all images using the hashtag, so administrators must moderate the images.

Lentil Navigation

Opening Lentil takes users to the administrative dashboard that displays new pictures, recently flagged items, top images, and top users. The navigation bar at the top of the page will take users to other areas of the program.

Key tabs on the navigation bar are:

  • Lentil Admin Users: Add or delete administrators
  • Lentil Flags: Display photos that have been flagged and moderated
  • Lentil Images: Harvested Images to moderate
  • Lentil Tagsets: Hashtags being collected
  • Lentil Users: List of accounts where images were harvested from


A tagset is a hashtag or group of hashtags being harvested.

How to Create a Lentil Tagset:

  • Step 1: From the Lentil administrative dashboard, click the “Lentil Tagsets” tab underneath the browser address bar. Click “New Lentil Tagset” in the upper right corner.
  • Step 2: Create a new title for the tagset. This can include the name of a related event or campaign.
  • Step 3: Optional - Write a brief description of the tagset in the provided box. You could include information on why this tag is being harvested, how the tagset relates to the collecting scope, and any other identifiers you feel necessary.
  • Step 4: Leaving out the hashtag symbol, write desired hashtags in the box. You can use multiple hashtags in same set.
  • Step 5: Click “Harvest” box underneath tags if you would like to immediately begin harvesting.
  • Step 6: Click grey “Create Tagset” button in the lower left corner to create new tagset and begin harvesting content. The program cannot retroactively harvest photos that were posted prior to the Lentil tagset being created.

How to Edit a Tagset:

If you would like to stop harvesting content for a specific tagset but want to save the set for future use, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: From the Lentil administrative dashboard, click the “Lentil Tagsets” tab underneath the browser address bar. The page that opens should list all of the current tagsets that are being harvested.
  • Step 2: Find the desired tagset on the list and click “edit.”
  • Step 3: Uncheck the “Harvest” box. When you would like to update or begin collecting these tags again, re-check the “Harvest” box.
  • Step 4: Click the grey “Update Tagset” button in the lower left corner.

Deleting a tagset

If a tagset turned out to collect images beyond your institution's collecting scope, deleting the set is an option. Next to the edit button is one to delete the entire tagset. Any images harvested with this tag will be retained but no new images will be collected.

Image Moderation

Lentil collects all public images that use a specific tagset. These images need to be moderated to remove those outside of a collecting scope. A curated photo can be found on the "Lentil Images" homepage using the search bar on the right. Images can be found using their specific ID number (found in the url of the image on the public site), username, score, and other features. To begin moderating, follow these initial steps.

How to Moderate Images:

  • Step 1: From the Lentil administrative dashboard, click the “Lentil Images” tab underneath the browser address bar. The page that opens will display recently harvested images.
  • Step 2: Click the “Moderate New” tab near the upper right.
  • Step 3: After checking the images, description, and service tags to make sure they fit with institutional goals and collecting scope, moderators have the option of leaving the images pending, approving the images, rejecting them, or approving but suppressing. Suppressing an image will preserve it for the historical record but the image will not be displayed on the curated image public interface.
  • Step 4: Decide the status of the ten images per page and then click the grey “Submit Moderation” button in the lower left corner. Any images still marked as pending will be skipped and moderators can approve or reject at a later time.
  • Step 5: Clicking the submit moderation button will load a new page with the next ten images.

Image Suppression Feature

The suppression feature on Lentil allows for images to be preserved for the historical record but not displayed on a curated image public interface. The images will be archived and available to researchers but will not be used promotionally. Instances to suppress an image vary depending on content, collecting scope, and institutional policies.

Possible instances when to mark an image as both Suppress and Approved.

  • Images contain hate-speech, whether it is directly from the source, if it is a screenshot of the message, or if the poster is condemning the hate-speech.
  • Images and messages are in a foreign language and appear to follow the collecting scope but cannot be translated at this time.
  • Images and messages contain profanities, obscenities, or are in poor taste but still meet an aspect of the collecting scope.
  • Images and messages promote ideals that the university or institution does not want to promote or encourage.

Public Interface for Curated Images

Lentil creates a website that displays all approved moderated photos or videos. There are two additional important functions on this page.

Flagging an Image

  • Step 1: A user of the site can click on a specific image to enlarge it. The user can report the image if they deem it inappropriate by clicking a red box in the bottom right corner labeled “report.”
  • Step 2: A window will appear asking if the user would like to report the image as inappropriate. Clicking that red box will send the image to the "Moderate Flagged" tab on the Lentil Images dashboard. The image will remain on the public site until the moderator makes the final decision.
  • Step 3: To check and moderate any flagged images go to the Lentil administrative dashboard and click the “Lentil Images” tab underneath the browser address bar. The page that opens will display recently harvested images.
  • Step 4: Click the “Moderate Flagged” button near the upper right.
  • Step 5: Any images that users have reported will be displayed.
  • Step 6: Decide if the image should be approved, approved but suppressed, or rejected. If the image is rejected or approved but suppressed it will be removed from the public interface.
  • Step 7: Click “Submit Moderation.”


The curated image public interface page has a battle feature that allows visitors to the site to pick their favorite of two photos. This feature can be used to hold contests and engage with site visitors. A photo's score and if staff liked the photo are shown on Lentil Images main page.