“The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed” by Adrian Chen
This article made me cringe and feel a bit sick to a certain point. It really just shows how much corruption there is in this world. I had no idea what people go through just to maintain my Facebook wall. I just can’t imagine what it is those contractors must go through either. To have to regulate these spaces must be a very difficult and daunting task.
The article basically reveals how there are services out there that moderate our site from things such as porn, racism, sexual images, gore, minors, etc. First it shows an area filled with people in this somewhat techy like building. These people basically protect the internet from displaying the inhumane content online. The article then goes onto explaining how there are offices in the Philippines that also moderate the internet. This actually did not surprise me as I am used to hearing about jobs being sent to other countries for cheap labor. It is no longer a new concept to grasp, but it did mention how it helped the Philippines learn what the US finds offensive. It was sad to read that some “companies would prefer not to acknowledge the hands-on effort required to curate our social media experiences.”
Chen also mentions the process that goes on in an app known as “Whisper.” This site aids in users wanting to rant, confess or illustrate some of their desires that may be too explicit to put on social medias like Facebook or Twitter. The app actually sounds very similar to Yik Yak. Which is an app that allows users to deliver anonymous posts that are typically light hearted and humorous in nature, but there are times when they are not. There are still users that sometimes post sexual and sometimes even racist comments. Just like Yik Yak, the “Whisper” site’s overall intentions are to be anonymous and ask “the users to put themselves out there and feel vulnerable.” The only difference I see is that Whisper uses photos. So a user would send words that are displayed over an image that’s similar to a post card. Users can also respond to a message either publicly or privately. This really opens my eyes to things. I used to be a user on Yik Yak and I know there are people out there that post very sexual comments on the app. Yik Yak also had an update a while back and now users can post images. It is also monitored to make sure every post and image is screened for any inappropriate content. I never thought about the people that monitor these images. I bet there have been various people who have attempted to post sexual images, but it makes me wonder….what do these moderators do with these images? Are they deleted permanently or stored somewhere in the “Naughty College Students” folder?
This article was a very interesting read. It definitely opened my eyes to things. I will be honest, in the very very beginning I thought hey, I wouldn’t mind working this job. It seems easy and would make for an interesting conversation when people ask “So what do you do for a living?” But then I would read on and find out the horrifying consequences that would come my way. What it does to you mentally I read was related to PTSD, not to mention I didn’t even think about all the other horrible obscene things that I would end up seeing. The small pay would not be worth the trauma. I definitely feel that users of technology should not only acknowledge the innovation and hard work that was put into it, but also the consequences people had in order to provide us with these technologies. I wish the moderators were given more credit for what they do.