Meet the 100,000+ People Tasked With Scrubbing Social Media Clean
Have you ever wondered whose job it was to eliminate gruesome content from your news feed? A terrific investigation over at Wired pulls back the curtain on this massive labor-driven endeavor.
Have you ever wondered what really happens to all the objectionable content you flag on Facebook? Who is it that has to sift through the virtual piles of muck and depravity in order to purify your news feed? Adrian Chen at Wired sought to find out and, in a terrific investigative piece, pulls back a curtain revealing the 100,000 laborers worldwide who spend their days deleting beheadings, gratuitous pornography, and other unwanted content.
Chen visited a complex outside Manila in the Philippines where an army of content moderators were hard at work disappearing gruesome images for the LA-based mobile startup Whisper. The company's CEO had given Chen access because Whisper considers "active moderation" to be a selling point. But in his piece, Chen notes that not every social media company is as willing to share this virtually unknown segment of their operation. Part of that may be because of what these laborers are paid:
"Moderators in the Philippines can be hired for a fraction of American wages. Ryan Cardeno, a former contractor for Microsoft in the Philippines, told me that he made $500 per month by the end of his three-and-a-half-year tenure with outsourcing firm Sykes. Last year, Cardeno was offered $312 per month by another firm to moderate content for Facebook, paltry even by industry standards."
Chen's article is a long read but well worth the time as he meticulously dissects both the industry side of the story as well as the personal impact this sort of work has on employees. One former moderator quit after encountering a grisly beheading. He realized he didn't want to become desensitized to the worst of the web as his co-workers had been. It's probably a lot like being a cop or coroner -- after a while, the ugliness of the world becomes innocuous and blasé. It is, no doubt, a very dirty job. But someone has got to do it.
Read more at Wired
Photo credit: alexskopje / Shutterstock
In the clip below, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales discusses smart censorship:
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.