Sarah Roberts clearly demonstrates the limitations of the available technologies such as artificial intelligence automation to systematically and preemptively remove any inappropriate, or even illegal user generated content from publicly accessible digital properties. The vast majority of social media content uploaded by its users requires the intervention of professional moderators for that purpose.
Professional moderators toil under different types of (precarious) labor agreements:
* Call center;
* Micro-labor platform.
Filipinos are sought-after commercial content moderators in the English-speaking world. They have been socialized to speak American English and cultivate an affinity for the American culture.
The commercial content moderation industry too often operates according to a race-to-the-bottom business model, on the lookout for an ever cheaper, faster labor force to often do a mentally dangerous, ungrateful curation job without any proper mental counseling freely available to them. Furthermore, some professional moderators generate content without identifying themselves properly as representatives of the brand to be protected. This lack of transparency is undermining the veracity and authenticity of the content available to the target audience.
Professional moderators have a truly Sisyphean mission:
* The scale and complexity of the content to be curated often turns their task into a catch-as-catch-can endeavor;
* Digital cleaners have to be subject matter experts about the site’s presumed audience;
* They also need to have the cultural knowledge about the location where the platform is based;
* These moderators have to possess the linguistic fluency in the language of the content;
* They have to know the relevant laws governing the site’s country of origin;
* Some digital cleaners are expected to make a judgment call on the value or merit of content as political commentary or advocacy, even if it can hurt the sensibilities of the target audience;
* Finally, the moderators are required to have an expert knowledge of user guidelines and other detailed platform-level specifics regarding what is and is not allowed.
The commercial content moderation industry is clearly in need of a global regulatory framework to afford the commercial content moderators a minimum social and mental protection. Self-regulation has clearly failed to do this job.
In summary, Sarah Roberts has shed a light on a behind-the-scene industry whose importance is too often poorly understood and appreciated at its right value.
- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (15 August 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300235887
- ISBN-13: 978-0300235883
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)