The upside to the AI ‘job threat’

Content moderation has long been a filthy and largely thankless job.

02 October 2023

If the internet is the “information superhighway” – how’s that for a ‘90s throwback of a phrase?! – our social networks are suburbs and shopping malls. And the brave souls of content moderation are mucking out the rubbish bins, storm drains, and sewers, keeping the kids and the shoppers as separate as possible from the nastiest muck on our social platforms. Yes, it’s a hokey metaphor, but it still tracks. In the first quarter of this year – the most recent data I can find – 10.7 million pieces of hate speech content were removed from Facebook alone. And that’s an improvement from Q4 2022’s 11 million.

Mind you, that’s only that which qualifies as hate speech. There’s also bullying and harassment-related content. In the same period (Q1 2023), Facebook took action on just under seven million such posts and comments. That figure was up on the preceding quarter.

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