“There is nothing we can do about it”
There is a news story which is breaking over several media recently. Wired did a feature on it a bit over a week ago called “The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed”. This article quotes in-the-know sources who say there are “well over 100K people” working on content moderation world wide, mostly in countries like the Philippines. The Philippines has cultural ties to the US, has a strong English second language culture and can pay people to do this work between $300 and $500 a month – a tiny fraction of doing the same work in the US.
This army cleaning the internet for first worlders is suffering pretty serious casualties. Understandably, people watching sex all day become desensitized to it. Most of these workers quit this job between 3 to 5 months after starting. And the visions haunt many content moderators long after they leave the job. People using kittens as bait for sharks, people setting animals on fire, child abuse and abusive and violent sex literally flood into various social media platforms, often being posted by proud perpetrators.
But what is disturbing about most of the many recent articles on this topic is that the commentators simply throw up their hands and say there is no other solution than this growing suffering army. The NPR story especially ended with this hopeless approach. [With the recent Slate article as a notable exception to this trend.]
In fact, there are numerous fixes. Slate recommends law enforcement be called in, but i think there is a better way. You could simply track the number of flagged posts someone has on their Facebook or other social media site, if they get over 3 deemed inappropriate posts you write them a “Cease and Desist” letter, if they don’t you ban them.
We have a created a system where a misplaced value has been placed “freedom of speech” in the form of you can put up what ever you like. But then we will review it and pull it down if we don’t like it. But don’t worry we will not make you in any way responsible for their depraved content you post. I find this particularly messed up, if you consider that a month back Facebook was demanding members use their birth names. But it is unwilling to say “you can’t post beheading video’s on this family friendly site”.
Tags: Content Moderation
About paxusa funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.
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