Facebook has over 2 billion users, all producing and sharing content. Most of it is harmless, but some of it isn’t. How does Facebook regulate content showing child abuse, animal cruelty, self-harm and hate speech? This revealing documentary offers unique undercover footage inside Facebook’s “moderating hub”. It presents a stark picture of an organization putting money before morality and for whom extreme content equals extreme profits.

A video of a man hitting a small boy was shared more than 44,000 times on Facebook within two days of it being posted. The video is still widely available on the platform. Nicci Astin, an online child abuse campaigner, has repeatedly complained to Facebook about the video, but they told her that it did not violate Facebook’s community standards.

In training at CPL Resources - a Dublin based content moderation contractor that has worked with Facebook since 2010 - the video is shown as an example of content that should be marked as disturbing, meaning it remains on the site, but is restricted to certain viewers. A moderator at CPL explains that “if you start censoring too much then people lose interest in the platform…It’s all about making money at the end of the day”.

Richard Allan, Facebook Vice President of Global Policy, denies that shocking or extreme content makes Facebook more money. “Shocking content does not make us more money. It’s just a misunderstanding of how the system works”. Yet Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook, claims that Facebook keeps extreme content because it encourages engagement with the platform. “What Facebook has learned is that the people on the extremes are the really valuable ones, because one person on either extreme can often provoke 50 or 100 other people and so they want as much extreme content as they can get”.

 

Credits (Click to expand)

Narrated by

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Undercover Operative

Will O’Sullivan

Executive Producer  

Tom Pullen

Archive

C-SPAN   

GETTY IMAGES   

SCREENOCEAN    

REUTERS ARCHIVE

Archive researcher

Fran Rowlatt McCormick

Online Editor and Colourist  

Dominic McMahon

Dubbing Editor

Matthew Ennis

Dubbing Mixer  

Andrew Sears

Music

Chad Hobson

Head of Business Affairs  

Leonora Wolstencroft

Production Coordinator

Eilidh Hart

Production Manager

Karen Craig

Production Executive

Emma Curtis

Head of Production

Lesley Cherry

Additional Camera  

Jack Cocker    

Erica Gornall

Assistant Producer

Charlotte Hawkins

Film Editors

Jane Greenwood

Justin Amsden

Executive Producer  

Nicole Kleeman

Producer

Ceri Isfryn

Filmed and directed by

Toby Paton

Firecrest Films

Filmed across the UK and Ireland

For Channel 4 Television

© 2018