After reading this article my outlook on the internet has been altered a little bit. This weeks reading was about “Content Moderators”, and the content being posted on the internet. According to The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed , content moderation is the act of removing offensive material off the web. It never even crossed my mind that content moderation is actually a job, I thought that whatever you post, automatically ends up on whatever website you wanted. I had no idea there were people sitting in an office monitoring what we post.
The article talks about content being posted on one specific website, Whisper. Whisper is a LA-based mobile startup, that lets users anonymously posting photos and their “secrets”. According to Micheal Hayward CEO of Whisper, they practice “active moderation” to try and keep their “toothpaste in the tube”. They are constantly bombarded with hundreds of posts at a time, they need to decide on the spot what is appropriate and what isn’t. Having a job as a content moderator has a downside. Seeing content like pornography, beheadings, and sexual solicitation all day can drive a person crazy. Some people who have the job end up quitting. Twenty 24 at the time, Jake Swearingen\ can recall the first time he saw a beheading on the job and at that moment, everything changed for him. He said he did not want to become a “connoisseur of beheading videos”. He eventually ended up quitting and is now the social media editor at Atlantic Media.
The main assumption/argument that this article poses is that the need for content moderators is beyond necessary. Although this job is a lot to handle at times, the Internet would not be the same without it.