How Facebook keeps out porn and violence

Published: Friday, Feb. 17 2012 8:44 p.m. MST

Facebook aggressively filters user-generated content to keep its social media network free from unsavory posts containing pornography and gory content, a Gawker article revealed Thursday.

"Facebook has fashioned itself the clean, well-lit alternative to the scary open Internet for both users and advertisers, thanks to the work of a small army of human content moderators," the article states.

That filtering comes with a price, though — and often the cost is exacted from the peace of mind of online moderators.

Facebook's online moderators largely come from outsourcing firms like oDesk, which hires and trains educated people who are fluent in English and living in Third World countries like Mexico, Turkey and India. The salary for a moderator starts around $1 per hour plus commission. Often, the most challenging aspect of a moderator's four-hour shift is coping with the steady stream of virtual filth that the moderators are constantly exposed to.

"Gawker interviewed a number of moderators (both past and current), including one man who only managed to last for three weeks before quitting," technology website The Verge reported Friday. "He told the interviewer that he was forced to see 'pedophelia, necrophelia, beheadings, suicides, etc. I left [because] I value my mental sanity.'"

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