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Social Media

The social network cleaners live in Manila

Who filters out the bad content on the Internet? Two German directors have tracked down the so-called commercial content moderators in the Philippines and made a film about them.

28 Mar. 2018 Isabelle Reiff
Source: Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion
Source: Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion

Tens of thousands of photos, videos and messages are removed from social networks every day due to their disturbing content: glorification of violence, child pornography or hate messages. Rather than working directly for Facebook, Google or Twitter, most of these commercial content moderators work for a pittance on behalf of outsourcing companies. Estimated at 100,000 worldwide , most of them live in the Philippines. A German documentary illustrates how traumatizing this on-demand censorship work is: "The Cleaners" will be shown in movie theaters in May.

Facebook was the first to admit having content moderated after the British newspaper "The Guardian" put the company’s deletion criteria catalog online. Google at least recently re-published how many unauthorized or misleading ads the Group blocked in 2017: a total of 3.2 billion listings. According to Google, over 100 ads were deactivated per second. Ads promoting cryptocurrencies will also be immediately deleted under the new guidelines.