Dive into a secret, third-world shadow industry of online content moderation. Here we meet five ‘digital scavengers’, a handful of thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete ‘inappropriate’ content from the internet. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical ‘cleaner’ must observe and rate thousands of intense images every day, from war-zone photography to pornography, leading to lasting psychological impact. Yet underneath their work lies profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism.
The film is nominated for 'Rights Now!' Award
Hans Block is a German theatre director, musician, and filmmaker. He studied music at the Berlin University of the Arts and directing at the Ernst Busch Institute for Theatre Directing, also in Berlin. Moritz Riesewieck is a German theatre director, author, and filmmaker. He studied economics as a scholar of the German National Academic Foundation, followed by directing at the Ernst Busch Institute for Theatre Directing in Berlin. Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block have been working as a team since 2007 under the label Laokoon, creating theatre performances and cross-media work. The Cleaners is their debut documentary.