In a sense this article discussed some controversial and “dirty” topics which made me immediately think about our discussion of the myth of the clean room. That technology is clean and making us cleaner and better.
“the number of content moderators scrubbing the worlds social media sites… runs to ‘well over 100,000.’” (scrubbing is an action people do while cleaning)
“It goes to our misunderstanding about the Internet and our view of technology as being somehow magically not human.” (clean, sleek, and futuristic)
The fact that the job of content moderator even exists is somewhat disturbing. As a consumer of social media it is disturbing to know that we are only getting a single story of society (the cleaned up version) and that there are so many horrible people out there that have to be moderated. Since most people interact with society online and get their news from social media they are seeing the world through the cleaned up version the internet is offering up. What does it say about us as a society that we need to be so heavily filtered? This could be an excellent argument about why people in third world countries who don’t have access to technology are better off. We don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have access to technology, but then again most people on see the cleaned up version.
In one of my classes the topic of net neutrality has come up. Upon doing some research I came across this quote:
“The internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation. That is the principle that has enabled the internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression.”
If the things coming up on our news feeds are moderated is it really fair and open? Its not fair to the people whose videos are being taken down and its not open to everyone if people can’t see everything that is being put up online. The so called human expression mentioned above is also being edited when people can’t put what they want up online. Then again, it is a good thing that all those horrible things are being edited out, because in order for people of all ages to enjoy the internet it needs to be clean. But who gets to decide what is good and bad? How long will it be until they decide cat memes are bad and block those as well? Where is the stopping point? How long until it is too clean and too perfect. When it no longer accurately represents us as a society will people continue to use those sites? We walk a fine line in keeping the internet neutral where everyone can post what they want, but keeping it safe so most people can use it
I was left with one question in my mind after reading this article. Couldn’t these moderators be helping to serve society by tracking down the people who are doing these horrible things instead of just clicking them away into a large delete pile? If you had to look at horrible photos and videos every day wouldn’t you want to know you could make a difference in some way?