22 July 2010

Taking Care of the Screeners

Here's a job I bet most of us didn't know existed- internet content screener.  Maybe you did know, but like me, assumed it was a one- or two-person job in the offices of the bigger content hosting companies, like Facebook, MySpace, etc.  Try four-and-a-half MILLION images per day.  Not a two-person job.  And this is mostly just user-flagged content.

This article in the NY Times (no, I don't read the Times...I found a link to it) describes one company that takes on outsourcing for screening of internet content posted by users.


What a job.  These folks look at photos, articles, stories, and any other content posted to sites like MySpace to detect illegal material or material contrary to the rules of the site (which are usually focused around what is legal).  I can't imagine all the skubalon they must look at each day.  The article goes into detail about how it affects these workers psychologically.

I don't see this problem getting any better.  How can we control such a beast as the internet?  It is basically a platform for viewing the imaginations of (almost) everybody in the world, and there are some sick dudes (and dude-ettes) out there.  Just how much control do you think we'll ever have over something as large as the internet, considering the radical corruption of man, the critter who created it (sorry Al Gore) and keeps it stocked with images and words that feed the beast?

As G. K. Chesterton said, total depravity is the one thing from scripture that can be empirically proven.  Here's the database- the internet.

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