The Cleaners

Politics/Society, United States/Italy 2018

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IN THE SHADOW OF THE NETWORLD - THE CLEANERS reveals a gigantic shadow industry of digital censorship in Manila, the world's largest outsourcing location for content moderation. There, tens of thousands of people work ten-hour shifts to delete incriminating photos and videos from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter&Co. on behalf of major Silicon Valley corporations. Complex decisions about censorship or content visibility are thus outsourced to content moderators. The criteria and guidelines by which they operate is one of Silicon Valley's best-kept secrets. The cruelty and continuous exposure to this traumatizing work changes the perception and personality of content moderators. But it doesn't stop there. They are forbidden to talk about their experiences. Parallel to the stories of five content moderators, the film tells of the global effects of online censorship and shows how fake news and hate are spread and amplified through social networks. The utopian vision of a networked global Internet community finally turns into a nightmare when high-ranking former employees of the social networks provide insights into the functioning and mechanisms of the platforms. By deliberately amplifying and multiplying all kinds of emotions, the platforms become dangerous fire accelerators that fuel social, political and societal conflicts and advance the threatening division of our society.
60 min
FSK 16
Audio language:

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