Hans Block & Moritz Riesewieck, 90 min
Germany, Brazil, 2018
Editing or censorship? The debate in the internet's underworld about Facebook and YouTube's rights and duties as moderators is already raging.
What responsibility do Facebook, Google and YouTube have for what is being posted on their sites? And what power do they have to shape the public discourse through censorship? Two questions that are currently preoccupying legislators and politicians. But who are the people who actually try to keep the internet clean? Meet five Filipino 'content moderators' who have the unrewarding job of keeping social media free from offensive content, but who also work full-time in a legal and ethical grey zone between freedom of expression, censorship and commercial interests. 'The Cleaners' brings us into the underworld of the internet, where the debates are already raging. 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and 2.5 million posts created on Facebook. Every minute. Every day. And the media giants' influence on everything from presidential elections to the number of likes for one's status updates is now so enormous that legislation can no longer ignore it.