The Internet’s Dirtiest Secrets – BBC4

BBC4 explores the complex world of digital content moderation - where undesirable material is 'cleaned' from the internet by a hidden army of nameless people

BBC4 explores the complex world of digital content moderation – where undesirable material is ‘cleaned’ from the World Wide Web in – The Internet’s Dirtiest Secrets

Clicking on Facebook or Google is second nature nowadays, but few people know what goes on behind the scenes.

This Storyville reveals a secret team of content moderators, or ‘cleaners’, in Manila, whose job is to trawl through the world’s most violent, disturbing and contentious posts, deciding what stays online and what 
gets removed.

The Internet's Dirtiest Secrets

A content moderator at work

Interviews with the ‘cleaners’ suggest a soul-sapping job, where a diet of terrorist videos, child pornography, self-harm material and political propaganda takes a heavy toll on their mental health and raises disturbing questions about where moderation ends and censorship begins.

A gripping, if uncomfortable, watch.

TV Times rating: ****