The Cleaners - Social media’s shadow industry | TV | DW | 14.05.2020
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The Cleaners - Social media’s shadow industry

Manila is home to a gigantic shadow industry of digital cleaning. It employs tens of thousands of people working 10-hour shifts deleting offensive photos and videos from social media sites.

Manila is a global content moderation hub for social media providers. This two-part documentary reveals how an army of low-paid contractors is tasked with deleting harrowing visual material from the internet.

Complex decisions on censorship are delegated to people working under highly secretive criteria and stipulations. With some content not so easy to erase from their minds, viewing and rating an endless stream of often deeply disturbing images every day can have a lasting psychological impact. At the same time, the content reviewers are prohibited from talking about their experiences. 

While examining the stories of five moderators, the film also addresses the global repercussions of online censorship and shows how fake news and hate speech are amplified by social media - which provide platforms for those eager to add fuel to existing social and political conflicts.

This debut production by filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck looks at the rise and fall of the utopian dream of social media. It asks what limits there could and should be to the influence of the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on our societies. 


Broadcasting Hours: 

Part 1: 

DW English

MON 08.06.2020 – 01:15 UTC
MON 08.06.2020 – 05:15 UTC
TUE 09.06.2020 – 09:15 UTC
SAT 13.06.2020 – 12:15 UTC
SUN 14.06.2020 – 15:15 UTC

Cape Town UTC +2 | Delhi UTC +5,5 | Hong Kong UTC +8
Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3 
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4
London UTC +1 | Berlin UTC +2 | Moscow UTC +3

Part 2: 

DW English

MON 15.06.2020 – 01:15 UTC
MON 15.06.2020 – 05:15 UTC
TUE 16.06.2020 – 09:15 UTC
SAT 20.06.2020 – 12:15 UTC
SUN 21.06.2020 – 15:15 UTC

Cape Town UTC +2 | Delhi UTC +5,5 | Hong Kong UTC +8
Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3 
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4
London UTC +1 | Berlin UTC +2 | Moscow UTC +3