Theresa Büchner / Hamburg, Germany — Jul 8, 2019
Best Practice is an interactive, web based narrative work by Theresa Büchner in collaboration with Jonas Liebermann. It focuses on the challenging working conditions of content moderators. Content moderators review posts, images and videos on social network platforms which cannot be reviewed by algorithms. On a daily basis they are confronted with depictions of nudity, violence, suicide and hate speech. Their job is to delete content that does not meet the guidelines to generate a clean environment for advertisement. Their decisions are based on ever changing guidelines provided by social network companies and their own understanding of the context.
To enter Best Practice, visitors need to confirm they have read an extensive guideline document and sign a non-disclosure agreement. An abstract patchwork of computer generated images takes shape. As the surface of the website resembles the working field of content moderators, visitors have two choices: To ignore or to delete to navigate through the stream of content presented to them. While they act as content moderators a spoken narrative evolves depending on the visitors’ choices. If they hesitate, they might face consequences.
Where algorithms are expected to provide a clean environment for advertisement, in fact this work is often performed by human beings. Best Practice aims to add a narrative quality to the public debate about the restrictive conditions in a worldwide growing field of work.
© 2021 Akademie Schloss Solitude and the author