Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Censoring web images

July 19, 2010

When I linked to my recent Tom Bianchi posting (complete with photos) in a Facebook posting, Emily Rizzo pointed us to

An article in the NY Times [“Policing the Web’s Lurid Precincts”, in the Technology part of the Business Day section for today] on the low wage workers who screen and censor web images including, presumably, this photo. Not a good job to have…

Apparently the job of dealing with “despicable and illegal images” (in the words of a former MySpace security officer) is very stressful, and the company reported on here, Telecommunications On Demand, tries to help the screeners over the rough spots (decent pay and reasonable hours might be a big help — I suspect these are contract workers who don’t get benefits, either — but that would cost more than the current arrangement). Other companies actually hire counselors for the purpose.

Then again, Facebook relies on its users to turn potential offenders in.

I wonder when They will come for me.

(Note: none of this counts as censorship, within the meaning of the law in the U.S., since it’s regulated not by any sort of government entity, but by private companies — there’s that problematic private again — who are merely enforcing the rules they have obliged users to agree to.)