August 22, 2012

Wow: Inside the Sick World of Google's Censors

This is pretty messed up. Mostly this guy was exposed to the sickest of the sick: child pornography. He tells how all of Google's censors are contract employees and how none of them was ever picked up by the company.

I can kind of see that maybe Google has a point. The author tells about how he realized that after being exposed to up to 15k horrifying images a day that maybe he needed therapy.

Do you really think another ten years of that exposure is healthy?

But thrown in there is this, about the guy assigned to looking at al Qaeda videos:

But no one talks about it. Like the guy I knew at YouTube. He was the guy who knew everything about child porn, knew everything about beheadings. I worked with him very closely and every time a new video by Al Qaeda came up, he was the first guy to see it. He had to see it for everybody. But he was a contractor and they didn’t hire him. He has no idea why. His manager called the recruiters and said, do you have any idea what this guy does? They had no idea. If you’re a contractor, you’re just a name and a department.
This actually might explain a thing or two about Google's on-again off-again erratic behavior in taking down jihadi videos. If there's just one or two (day and night shift) guys assigned to deciding which videos are legitimately pro-terrorism and which aren't, and those people get replaced every single year, then perhaps we have a case of no institutional memory and simple lack of knowledge about the subject.

But what's so revealing in this article is that it shows bad corporate practice on Google's part. Yes, Google should be held liable for any and all acts of terrorism in which at least part of the inspiration came through YouTube videos.

Perhaps having contractors rotate in and out might be good when it comes to kiddie porn. But you'd think that the same rule of mental health wouldn't apply to terrorist videos, the vast majority of which would be simple propaganda and not acts of horrific violence.

Thanks to Tim.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:55 AM | Comments |