The Moderators
April 14, 2017 12:53 PM   Subscribe

The Moderators is a 20-minute documentary by Adrian Chen and Ciaran Cassidy that follows a team of new internet moderators at an outsourcing firm in India as they look for pornography and scams (film contains some NSFW images in the background). The film is based in part on Chen's 2014 Wired article on content moderation (previously on the blue), which goes into more depth on the rapid culturally-sensitive decisions required and the psychological impact of this work for the humans who constantly see these images.
posted by zachlipton (6 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, I once worked at a big ole Internet company that serves videos to watch online. The content moderator folks there had it hard.

One time I walked behind a quite lovely woman's desk and she had completely zoned out to an looping video. Close up of a man in Speedos...zoomed in on the Speedos, just repeatedly thrusting on loop. She had zero affect and wasn't moving, just mesmerized by the banality of swinging cock. I loved her just a little at that moment.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:31 PM on April 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

That was excellent. I wonder what the turnover rate is - I'd guess fairly high since they are hiring all entry-level workers and it's not exactly a skilled job.
posted by AFABulous at 2:27 PM on April 14, 2017

One of the nice things at unnamed Internet Behemoth was that it wasn't entry-level...they paid pros to do the dirty work...and gave them lots of mental/emotional support.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:12 PM on April 14, 2017

Yeah I was struck by how, in the video, it was literally everyone's first job ever. That's got to give you an interesting view of what work is.
posted by zachlipton at 3:36 PM on April 14, 2017

I was also surprised at how old they were - I'm guessing mid 20s? Is that a normal age for a first job in India? I worked with Indian IT guys and they were about the same age, but pretty skilled.
posted by AFABulous at 4:20 PM on April 14, 2017

She had zero affect and wasn't moving, just mesmerized by the banality of swinging cock.

Maybe the "I know it when I see it" standard for categorizing obscenity is a basilisk or killer joke when combined with the right image.
posted by XMLicious at 6:51 AM on April 15, 2017

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