Moderating the internet is traumatic

Or if they’re breastfeeding mothers (the monsters)

7 Likes guy and Tubgirl are fairly innocuous in comparison to some of the truly horrifying shit out there. War atrocities, prensa roja, actual child rape (as opposed to the tentacly anime kind,) most of the content on (if that even still exists; I’m not about to check.) guy is a weirdo but he’s not hurting anyone. (Interview, SFW but Gawker.) I’m guessing Tubgirl’s effluvia is something introduced, like the substance in 2G1C, not actual projectile diarrhea. Unless she’s a victim of sex trafficking that’s not any different than what at least a handful of people are having a great time doing right now within a two mile radius of here.

There’s gross squick that you pass around to your friends to laugh at their reactions, and then there’s the kind of thing that makes you wish the sun would just explode already.


I once met the guy who built and he said he got a lot of death threats over that site.

I remember finding that site early in my first-time-on-the-internet days in 1996-ish (looks like that’s the origin date) and being fascinated with it. It was gross, but mostly unfortunate / gruesome fatalities as I recall.

Yeah… I have a pretty impermeable constitution. Especially when I’m on my ADHD meds. Flattens me right out. But when I see people hurting others, that’s when I lose it.


I don’t have the stomach for sites like Rotten anymore, but I sometimes long for that time 17 years ago, when the curiosity gap was still evolving and seeing “really fucked up shit” didn’t involve harassment or death threats or rape threats or war or a sense of constant unease. It involved seeing, say, a parrot perched on a man’s erect penis. Were we ever so young?

My point exactly.

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Yes, there are and yes, they do.

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More often than you’d think. I worked at a smaller moderation company and we would forward something to the authorities several times a day. We’d also get police in different countries contacting us directly when, say, they busted a guy with a bunch of child porn on his phone and it was somehow linked to a service we moderated. A site the size of youtube would probably be in the thousands of reports a day.

My guess is most of the reporting-to-authorities at youtube and facebook is automated. If a video has already been marked as blatantly illegal by a moderator, any future uploads of that video would be picked up by video comparison algorithms and the user details get sent straight through to the police. No need for a moderator to watch and pass judgment a second time.

Many years back I had to monitor all attachments in and out of a now defunct German financial entity. A European man living in Japan would go on vacation to Thailand. He took pictures. There were children in the pictures. He sent them to friends in various countries.

I spoke with a friend of mine who is a lawyer who does consulting with the japanese national police. At the time this wasn’t a crime in Japan, it was not a crime in his home country because it happened outside their borders. Whether or not it was a crime in Thailand wouldn’t matter either. Turns out it wasn’t even possible to report this to HR as the person wasn’t breaking any written local policy that he’d signed off on.

On the lighter side, yes was also a PITA.

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I used to mod on a longstanding counterculture site that at one point had about 80k members. Despite having one of the more civilized corners, it was overwhelming. Most people wouldn’t think that an argument about gravitational fields would descend into spamming bestiality pictures…

Still easier than trying to craft a free speech policy that distinguishes between art and child porn.


Other than famous idiots, there are no vegetarians who like PETA.



I used to moderate the EclipsePhase forum. They hadn’t had any moderators since it’s inception, and I was stupid enough to volunteer when they decided it was time to give it a go. End result of the time of “benign neglect” was a forum culture that was actively a reason for people to not start playing the game–a bunch of anarcho-capitalists, MRAs, and other such warm and cuddlies had made the place their private playground, and resisted strongly to the attempt to moderate the place (one of them, an MRA, had a worldview that was so divorced from reality that I honestly wanted to study him in a clinical psychological setting).

I lasted about three months before burnout.


Yeah this is why Reddit is screwed – going from “almost no rules” to rules is extraordinarily difficult once that libertarian anything goes survival of the fittest mentality sets in.


As a fan of the game, I find this horrid to hear.

Well, this was two years ago (almost exactly). It’s gotten better since then, but it was pretty damn bad at the time, to the point where, when people said that they didn’t want to start playing and were asked why, they said “Your forum”, as it was this cesspool of misogyny and libertarian True Believers.

In full irony, though, the thing that made me burn out wasn’t the MRAs, but a militant vegan Swede who took exception to the fact that I’m Jewish, which apparently makes me a gleeful animal torturer and “atavistic Bronze Age barbarian” by default, and, since I was the only forum mod at the time, and I was not capable of actually banning or suspending people, and the owners, who could (ban people), were deeply involved in prepping for GenCon and didn’t respond when I sent up the Bat Signal… It got really bad. Really, really bad.


One word: Cthulu

Did you resist the temptation to bury him in The Thing derived “Crazy Swedes” meme slurry every time he popped up?


I’m pretty sure that Nietzsche had some sort of Brooding, Byronic Antihero in mind for that stuff about gazing long into the abyss; but apparently it’s actually a painfully banal and largely invisible post-industrial helldesk job. Three cheers for progress!


Yes, we should all be as delicate.

I knew this brilliant, creative woman who got a job working for M-Soft, back in the 1990s, rating websites. I have no idea what all she saw surfing from one end of The Internet, back when it was maybe still possible, but I still wonder if the experience might have pushed her to the precipice of madness. Sure, she might have been vulnerable, but there is the seeing of that which cannot be unseen. Like, whatever happened to the website called, “I Took the Call”? That site could really change the way you looked at the prospect of visiting the ER.