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Episode Notes

Host Shannon Palus talks to Sarah Roberts, a researcher at UCLA and the author of Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media. They discuss the people who protect us from the worst of humanity by sifting through and removing gruesome content from social media platforms—all for low pay, no health insurance, and at the risk of their mental health. Roberts explains how she gets workers who have signed nondisclosure agreements to talk to her anyway, and who social media sites are really beholden to (hint: It’s not you). On tabs, Aaron and Shannon will discuss some slightly more hopeful things.

Podcast production by Justin D. Wright.

Stories discussed on the show:

• Shannon’s Tab: “What If This Were Enough?” by Heather Havrilesky

• Aaron’s Tab: “Domino’s Wants to Slice Away at the Americans With Disabilities Act” by Richard Supple

• Sarah Roberts’ book: Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media

• Also discussed: “For Once, We Have Good News About Facebook and Content Moderators,” by Kate Klonick in Slate

Host: Shannon Palus

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If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State UniversityNew America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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