Summary of The Price of a “Clean” Internet

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The Price of a “Clean” Internet summary
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Many people take for granted their generally wholesome online experiences. They may even assume that AI technology is keeping any disturbing content at bay. However, human moderators are the ones who bear the heavy psychological burden of filtering out the filth and violence. Filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck explore the cost of the clean web for tens of thousands of moderators and for society at large. A warning to viewers of this important talk: Discovering the truth behind the clean internet means exposure to footage of graphic violence and other disturbing content.

About the Speakers

Filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck made the 2018 documentary The Cleaners, which exposes the truth behind the processes that attempt to keep the internet wholesome.

 

Summary

Human content moderators “clean” the internet.

The internet hosts a lot of disturbing, graphic content, so why do you rarely see this material on your social media newsfeeds or browser searches? The answer isn’t simply a technological one, because image-recognition software has limitations. Artificial intelligence can identify nudity, blood and sex organs but struggles to differentiate pornography from, say, holiday photos, classical sculpture or breast-cancer awareness initiatives. To such software, onstage violence and real violence appear the same. Only humans can distinguish irony, satire, and similar tones from true hatred and threats.

Moderating web content is an anonymous, isolating job with a grave psychological toll.

Thus, big tech companies – Google, Facebook...


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