Sign up FAST! Login

Tech Confessional: The Googler Who Looked At The Worst Of The Internet

Stashed in: User Generated Content, Google!, Best PandaWhale Posts, Mother of God!, Teh Internets, Awesome, @ericschmidt, YouTube!, NSFW!, Google, Larry Page, Sergey Brin

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

So I went there. I was kind of repulsed at how much I had. I think anyone who said they didn’t enjoy it would be a filthy liar: I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner there every day. They give you everything you need. As a person just getting out of college, it was fantastic. My parents, being traditional, were very proud that that I was working for this huge company.

Over the phone, the recruiter informed me I'd be dealing with “sensitive content.” It didn't occur to me that I would be doing the work without technical and emotional support.

Mother of God...

Three people here were on the midnight shift for YouTube and they were given the promise that if they were going to see beheadings and child porn and all this shit all the time, they'd get hired. YouTube’s review process is proactive — they have to sit there and look at all of it, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., for a year. One of my really good friends lost her life for a year doing that.

This sounds awful.


The internet harbors the best and worst of humanity. I did this for a bit, and what bothered me more wasn't that it existed, but that somewhere out there, there was a person actually profiting from making sure it existed and was distributed.

Your job was to look for the bad stuff and remove it, but that's a process of eternal vigilance since there are others whose job it is to make the bad stuff available.

Should we be concerned that a lot of the 1.8 billion future jobs of crowd labor will be this kind of psychologically damaging work fighting the bad?

I think we should be concerned not that these jobs exist, but that the companies that need people to fill these roles are unwilling to adequately provide for the people performing these tasks. It's really disappointing how the drive to increase profits leads companies to decide to treat people as if they're expendable, because even if companies were pressured to begin to provide their employees with mental health care benefits, the jobs would likely move to somewhere where other people would do the work without demanding such benefits. The world's full of people desperate to turn a quick buck to get ahead, and there's no longer any impetus for companies to care about where the job gets done, so long as it's getting done.

I don't know what's more disturbing, the realization that they pay people to look at that without any concern of their mental health or that it's so rampant.

I couldn't do it. There's just some things in the world you can't unsee.

seems to me these contractor jobs would be better "filled" by students at police academies. given all of the advanced tech going on at google, i am sickened that they haven't come up with a better approach than stringing contractors along through a year of unmitigated paid emotional abuse.

Worse, a lot of the 1.8 billion future jobs of crowd labor will be this kind of psychologically damaging work fighting the bad. No one deserves this kind of work.

Rule 34 says that for anything you can think of, "There is porn of it. No exceptions."

Which, as Liz pointed out, means that somewhere someone is trying to profit off it.

crowd labor made me remember the class action lawsuit filed against AOL by unpaid volunteers (you can read an interesting reference to it with a comparison to the huff post unpaid blogger model here:

AOL settled.

The reason all these tech companies only hire contractors for a year is so that they don't have to give them benefits, stick options and other perks their full time people get

Microsoft got in trouble for having long term contractors and was sued in a class action suit

This story is just awful


You May Also Like: