tirsdag 8. mars 2022

China’s Content Moderators Are Overworked and Chronically Stressed

China wants to keep its cyberspace “clean” — and there’s an army of workers tasked with sanitizing the country’s virtual world. Hired by top domestic internet companies, the so-called content moderators spend excruciatingly long hours scrubbing anything associated with horror, violence, pornography, and information deemed politically sensitive or offensive. They review a barrage of user-generated content — including videos, comments, photos, and user profiles — staring at their screens relentlessly and often working overtime at the cost of their physical and mental health.

Six former employees in the content moderation department at major Chinese tech firms told Sixth Tone that their job required them to monitor online content at all hours of the day, in shifts that sometimes stretched up to 14 to 15 hours. Many of them, fresh university graduates attracted by working for the country’s biggest companies, said they were weighed down by long schedules, stressful performance assessments, and unattractive career prospects.