Digital Dirty Work

How Facebook & Co. Save Us From Evil

Day after day, the internet is inundated by a flood of digital images. We never come even close to seeing all of it. Why is this? In his investigative research, Moritz Riesewieck has focused on the quagmire created by the simultaneous endeavors of censorship and exploitation. His goal: to uncover the analog realities behind the digital public space.

Who decides what we see?

Hundreds of thousands of photos and videos are uploaded to the internet every day. Included in this avalanche is a massive amount of horrifying content, full of violence and pornography. How is it possible that we as normal users see very little of this? Algorithms are capable of identifying certain kinds of visual content, but they cannot classify these images. This is the reason why countless low-wage employees in the Philippines are hired by Facebook, Twitter, and other mega-corporations to travel the internet. They are not permitted to discuss what they do. Moritz Riesewieck managed to meet some of these individuals who protect us from this terrifying content, sacrificing their own peace of mind in the process. They are not able to simply delete the images from their own minds. Unfortunately, also political content, art and satire fall by the wayside. What impact does all of this have on our view of the world? Riesewieck combines fascinating reportage with astonishing ideas about the power of pictures.

“What can an indigenous weed, a sixteenth-century oil painting, and a Southeast Asian regionalist novel tell us about the censorship of images on Facebook? More than you might think!”

- A topic relevant to contemporary society at large
- Meticulously researched, a captivating read


dtv Sachbuch
312 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-26173-9
8. September 2017