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Usbek & Rica – “It is imperative to fight the invisibility of content moderators”

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Uzbek and Rika: You liked the series SeparationIntroducing the team members « Macro Data Purification » Of a large company reminiscent of Gaffam. Why ?

Sarah T. Roberts: When a work is so successful and intelligent, it’s common for the viewer to project their own minds and anxieties onto it, but screenwriter Dan Erickson also The showrunners of Separation Familiar with the world of commercial content moderation (MCC). There are many similarities between the serial and reality! The task of these office workers who sit in front of the computer all day: routine, boring, indefinable, it takes days for the new recruit to understand the meaning of what he has to do. This feeling of absurdity, many witnesses told me My research : It takes time to understand the specific logic of their operation.

What do employees in this macro data refinement department actually do? At the end of the first season of the series, the mystery remains full… because their work is harmful, terrible and harmful to themselves or others? Because it’s shocking, disturbing, and disturbing? Because it exposes them to psychological hazards, burnout, a kind of indifference, or worse? A monotonous and dangerous activity for those who practice it: here, too, what a resonance with the moderation of content practiced today!

Inn SeparationThere is the repetition of “welfare sessions” and their ambiguities…

In the series, as in MCC’s companies, the ambiguity arises from the fact of organizing a psychological follow-up within a work that is even attributed to post-traumatic stress. This raises some doubts about the purpose of the follow-up: is this follow-up really organized for the good of the employee? Inn SeparationThe goal of these sessions is not to help the employee who remains silent most of the time – to get him back on the job, avoid thoughts of quitting, and improve his efficiency.

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Moreover, moderators give a reason for reluctance to seek such help based on volunteering within the company. Leaving your workstation and walking past the manager’s office to see the advisor is like telling everyone: “Yes, I’m having problems at my job”. But no one wants to find themselves in such an unpleasant, stigmatizing situation. As for seeking follow-up outside the company, without health insurance, this can prove too expensive for a profession that heavily uses subcontracting.

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