People hired to clean the internet of disturbing and illegal content call it the ‘worst job in tech’.
Silicon Valley’s biggest social media companies — including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — employ tens of thousands of people to weed out bad content. Many are employed by subcontractors in India and the Philippines, and are paid wages well below the average tech employee in Silicon Valley.
We hear from former US-based moderator Shawn Speagle who still suffers serious health consequences caused by stress and trauma. One of Facebook’s Vice-Presidents, Arun Chandra, tells us the company has improved pay and offers psychological support on every shift. We also explore the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence to automate some of the work. UCLA professor Sarah Roberts invites us to question the business model of big social media companies, which have allowed users to post whatever they like, whenever they want.
The BBC’s Ivana Davidovic has this extended report. Some listeners might find some elements upsetting.
(Image: Silhouette of man’s head in front of computer monitor light at night. Credit: Getty Images)