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Big Revolution - The most depressing job on the internet

Welcome to Wednesday's Big Revolution. – Martin
July 18 · Issue #143 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Wednesday’s Big Revolution.

Big things you need to know today
- Google is expected to be landed with a record antitrust fine today. The European Commission is expected to hand down a $5bn penalty for abuse of Android’s position in the mobile market.
- SIM-porting attacks are making victims’ lives hell. They can let an attacker take control of your online world.
- Facebook has told politicians in Washington DC that it doesn’t discriminate against content on a political basis. And an investigation by the UK’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme found the company does go easy on Pages with large followings, when they break the rules. That includes Pages that share extreme political content.
- Google is laying a transatlantic data cable between the US and France. The cable will help support the growth of Google’s cloud business, and is its second private undersea cable.
The big thought
Credit: Tim Bennett on Unsplash
The most depressing job on the internet
It’s easy to get angry at social media companies when they make the wrong decision about allowing or banning a particular piece of content. But last night’s Channel 4 documentary made me spare a thought for the poor content moderators at Facebook. 
Working for a third-party company in Dublin, the contractors the programme focused on spend their days working through the thousands of reports Facebook receives each day.
Here’s why I feel for them:
  • They have to look at the absolute worst of the internet all day, every day. Violence, abuse, hatred in all its forms – if they’re going to clean it up, they have to see it all. I hope they have access to psychological support; they must either become emotionally numb or bottle up all sorts of torment for later.
  • They have very little room for their own judgment. Facebook’s rules on what stays and what goes are very strict. Some content that a common sense reading would say should be banned, has to stay up on a technicality.
  • Unless an act of harm is being live-streamed, they can’t report it to the authorities. Imagine having that on your conscience – seeing a vulnerable person suffering and not being able to make sure they get the help they need.
Content moderators have one of the toughest jobs on the internet - and probably the most depressing. So next time you report some inappropriate content, spare a thought for the poor human who has to review it. It probably isn’t their fault if they make the wrong decision.
One big read
The Twitch streamers who spend years broadcasting to no one The Twitch streamers who spend years broadcasting to no one
The Verge meets the people who live-stream their video game play to no-one, for years on end, in the hope of finding internet stardom… eventually.
One big tweet
John Lagomarsino
really amazing that there’s a popular app called “WhatsApp”
4:49 AM - 18 Jul 2018
It really is a terrible name – the kind of name some contestants on The Apprentice would make up in a challenge.
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow. Don’t forget; you can help me reach more people with Big Revolution by sharing it with others. Just send them this link and encourage them to subscribe.
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