Wired recently published an excellent in-depth piece about the huge force of people who moderate content on social networks, removing everything from porn to beheadings, so the majority don’t have to see them.
Adrian Chen’s article says there is a massive labour force of such workers, estimated by former chief security officer of MySpace to be “well over 100,000”.
This is twice the number of employees at Google, and 14 times that of Facebook.
Huge tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google hire these moderators to search through and delete material that can range from inappropriate to abhorrent, for wages of around $500 a month.
One content moderator for YouTube says: “Everybody hits the wall, generally between three and five months. You just think, ‘Holy shit, what am I spending my day doing? This is awful.’”
The article gives first-hand accounts of what it is like to be tasked with viewing such content on a daily basis, how it affects them, and the counselling many need to make sure they don’t become too disturbed or traumatised by what they seen.
Read the article here.