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movie review: the cleaners

20 Jan 2019 - mrtn

the cleaners is a documentary, that shows the work (and life) of five content moderators for different social media platforms. if you have ever thought who deletes all that stuff in social media - this movie is for you.

the cleaners shows, what it does with people, who are basically forced to watch every video, image and the acompanying posts in social media. these are the people, who have to deal with rape, murder, war, unsolicited dick picks and hate speech. every day. the billion-dollar companies that try to get everyone of their users hooked and want to harvest all that attention, have outsourced these jobs to the phillipines. where the people actually rather deal with all that user generated hate than gather trash and search for anything valuable in there. probably no one else would even think about doing this job for more than a day otherwise.

the movie shows not only, how much disgusting stuff gets uploaded all day every day - in case you needed proof - but how the big attention merchants don’t really care. all they want is more users that spend more time on their platforms. and you’ll probably learn a thing or two about what people are uploading. if you think you know it all, you are most certainly wrong. it’s worse than you think. but not only the content moderators get a voice but also content creators (artists), alt-right zealots, activists who try to paint a better picture of the war in syria or politicians.

the filmmakers were able to create a chilling portrait of an industry that we’re not even aware of. it’s direct, hurts and yet does not comment or tries to create an opinion. not even when one of the moderators describes her job as eliminating sin to protect the users.
combined with the huge number of opinions and points of view, it’s ultimately the choice of every user, if they continue using this system or say ‘goodbye’ to all that hate, fake news and attention-harvesting.