Dir. Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Grifa Filmes, I Wonder Pictures, 88 min, 2018, Germany / Brazil / (18+)

A look into the secretive digital cleaners industry, whose employees rid the Internet of unacceptable information. Employed by Silicon Valley companies, the daily task of a typical cleaner is to view and evaluate thousands of images and videos. Often this labour takes a significant psychological toll on the lives of the content moderators. Although the moderators’ jobs are shrouded in secrecy, some of them are willing to talk. This documentary thriller raises questions about the reality hidden behind the social media utopia.  At what point do attempts to ward off radicalization and the proliferation of fake news become dangerous censorship?

Facebook announced that they plan to increase the number of cleaners they use. There is a lack of workers, though, and many of those employed in this field are suffering from PTSD. In 2017, Microsoft content moderators, whose daily task was to sift through content containing violence against children, sued the company for insufficient psychological support.