What's the Big Idea series

New short film shows tough job of content moderators

Victor Barreiro Jr.
New short film shows tough job of content moderators
The film tackles the training some social media workers in India have to go through to begin as content moderators

MANILA, Philippines – Content moderators have a tough job: They wade through the muck of the Internet to determine the most objectionable bits that need to be removed. A job like that can take a lot out of a person, but in some cases, there’s no other job to be had.

In The Moderators, a new short film released last Friday, April 14, Adrian Chen and Ciaran Cassidy attempt to show a day in the life of new content moderators in India.

As their Vimeo page explained, “a cadre of Internet moderators ensures that social media sites are not taken over by bots, scammers, and pornographers,” and the film shows viewers the process by which this incoming batch of content moderators is trained.

This includes learning to discern what’s appropriate and inappropriate for posting, as well as getting over their own notions of what they find culturally inappropriate.

Chen is no stranger to the world of content moderation, having written about the process of content moderation on The New Yorker and Wired in previous years. This film is part of the Field of Vision series of short films, which is a visual journalism film unit co-created by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook. – Rappler.com

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.