Please join us in MITH on October 30, 2019 (All Hallows’ Eve Eve) from 6-8pm for a screening of The Cleaners, a documentary which provides an in depth look at the hidden labor of content moderation that makes today’s social media platforms possible. Once the dream of Silicon Valley tech startups, the democratization of web publishing has brought huge challenges to the mega-corporations that run today’s social media platforms, as they struggle to prevent the viral spread of online hate, violence and abuse.
Key to these moderation systems are large numbers of human moderators, who interpret community guidelines, and sometimes clandestine content rules, in order to decide what content will remain online. As Sarah Roberts details in her book Behind the Screen (a recent Digital Studies Colloquium pick) commercial content moderators work behind the scenes, in remote locations and precarious working conditions, where they are often subjected to a barrage of unsettling material that can leave lasting psychological and social impacts.
A brief discussion will follow the screening. Popcorn and soda pop will be available, but feel free to bring some take-out or some pre-Halloween candy.