Enter a hidden third world shadow industry of The Cleaners, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn't like. Here we meet five “digital scavengers” among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content of the net. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts.
Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship? THE CLEANERS struggles to come to terms with this new and disconcerting paradigm. Evolving from a shared social vision of a global village to a web of fake news and radicalization, the film charts the rise and fall of social media’s utopian ideology.
Why you need to see this film:
You need to watch The Cleaners because 'Cleaners' are effecting you every single day, shaping your view of the wold. When you go online the content you see is curated. Companies pay cleaners to review and censor vast amounts of data. The power of the Cleaners is far reaching, elections can be won and wars can be started because of the decisions made by the Cleaners to ignore or delete. The lines between art and propaganda are not well defined or regulated. What constitutes journalism? As the internet continues to evolve away from it's unregulated 'wild west' beginnings we should be aware of who controls what we see and, maybe, we should be concerned.
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