When we come across disturbing content on the internet, we click the “report” button to alert the website administrators, but what happens to this content afterward? Who decides on its fate, and how do they go about it? In this performance, based on confidential Facebook training presentations that were leaked to The Guardian in 2017, the audience is invited to take part in an interactive training session in which they will fill the shoes of content moderators who are required to make thousands of moral, sometimes traumatizing, choices every day, following strict company community guidelines.
In the course of an hour, the performance discusses topics that occupy the moderators, such as what content is considered sexual? When is a threat credible? When is showing violence crucial to saving lives? And in general, how can we make a value judgment on what type of images we should see – as individuals and as a society – in the various social media and websites?
Lior Zalmanson is a researcher, new media artist, and writer for stage and screen, whose works focus on digital culture and the information society. His first play, Yingale, won the Haifa Fringe Festival in 2009, and a local production of the play was performed in Belgrade. His film Operator was screened in the official competition at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2011, Lior founded Print Screen Festival, Israel’s digital arts festival, which attracts thousands of artists, researchers, and technologists, and explores themes of digital culture in audio-visual arts. Lior was a Fulbright scholar at NYU and the Metropolitan Museum, researching online behavior. He is now working as an assistant professor, and studying interactive and participatory experiences at Tel Aviv University.
Maya Magnat is a performance artist, speaker, and educator based in Tel Aviv. She has an MFA in Performance Research from Tel Aviv University, and a sex education certificate from Open Door. She is currently working on her thesis in the Technologies in Education Program at University of Haifa.