Who controls what we see online? Documentary Screening: The Cleaners

Feature image via the cleaners: Who is controlling what we see… and what we think?

The Web that was once created to be public, free, and open is not the same anymore. Almost everything we do online these days is controlled by private companies; whether we are sending an email (through Gmail), expressing and debating an idea (Facebook and Twitter), snapping and posting a picture of our food (on Instagram), or chatting with our moms (on Whatsapp). This online space is controlled and regulated by these big corporation.

But who’s taking the choice of what stays on the web and what gets deleted? How, when you report an image or video, the platform takes the decisive decision to leave or delete it? Who is controlling what we see… and what we think?

SMEX is proud to screen THE CLEANERS, a documentary by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block that reveals how tech giants hire third-party companies to remove “objectionable” content.

Enter a hidden shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn’t like. The Cleaners documentary reveals how third-party companies employ content moderators to spend their time looking at pictures and video flagged for potentially being objectionable, then decide whether to “Delete” or “Ignore” them.

The documentary will be followed by a discussion on the topic with SMEX friend, Jillian York, writer and researcher on content moderation, who appeared in the film.

90 minutes | English subtitles
Sunday, November 18, 6 pm.
Location: Mezyan. Rasamany Building, Hamra main street, Beirut, Lebanon.
Entrance is Free. Suggested donation 10,000LL.


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