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The Internet's Dirtiest Secrets – BBC4

The Internet's Dirtiest Secrets: The Cleaners a Storyville
(Image credit: BBC/Gebrueder Beetz Filmprodukti)

BBC4 explores the complex world of digital content moderation - where undesirable material is 'cleaned' from the internet by a hidden army of nameless people

BBC4 explores the complex world of digital content moderation – where undesirable material is 'cleaned' from the World Wide Web in – The Internet's Dirtiest Secrets

Clicking on Facebook or Google is second nature nowadays, but few people know what goes on behind the scenes.

This Storyville reveals a secret team of content moderators, or ‘cleaners’, in Manila, whose job is to trawl through the world’s most violent, disturbing and contentious posts, deciding what stays online and what gets removed.

The Internet's Dirtiest Secrets

A content moderator at work

Interviews with the ‘cleaners’ suggest a soul-sapping job, where a diet of terrorist videos, child pornography, self-harm material and political propaganda takes a heavy toll on their mental health and raises disturbing questions about where moderation ends and censorship begins.

A gripping, if uncomfortable, watch.

TV Times rating: ****

Mandy Cooper
Mandy Cooper

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.