Dark Content (2015-ongoing) probes into the Internet’s most secret corners by looking closely at the largely anonymous labour force of content moderators that has emerged with the rise of social media. Content moderation is for the most part a very discreet service as the companies who hire this workforce seek to present themselves as free and transparent tools of self-expression. The moderators in turn often hide their work from their friends and families, preferring not to acknowledge the kinds of things they are required to witness everyday. Over a period of more than a year, the Mattes interviewed a number of them about their work. These conversations developed into a series of video episodes – first released on the Darknet – with the interviewees’ identities withheld through the use of voice software and stock avatars, a further distancing from both the person and the content itself. Each video is displayed in sculptural surrounds made from mass-produced office furniture, alluding to the home offices and identikit office cubicles around the world where this work often takes place.
Dark Content, Episode 4 - A darker place mentally, 2016
Single-channel video (4.06 min), customised desk, monitor, headphones, cables
Installation view, 'Abuse Standards Violations', Carroll / Fletcher, London
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