The Cleaners

The Cleaners

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 6:00pm
Friday, May 11, 2018 - 9:15pm
Trailer(s)
Screening Sponsor(s)
Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck | 
Germany/Brazil |
 2018 | 
88 minutes

THE WEDNESDAY MAY 9 SCREENING IS PART OF THE JUSTICE FORUM SERIES AND WILL INCLUDE A POST-FILM DISCUSSION.

When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dormitory at Harvard in 2004, he meant the platform to be used as a tool to “share anything with anyone.” Little did he know just how far and fast the concept would spread. Social media has become an integral part of how we live our daily lives. From hot takes on the latest news item to images of what we ate for breakfast—we share, and we do it often. But where are the limits drawn as to what, exactly, can be shared? The Cleaners reveals the dark underbelly of our globalized social media culture and the people who are charged with determining what is unacceptable. Content moderators are hired by third-party companies to determine what stays up and what comes down. As social media has increasingly taken on the role of more traditional media outlets in disseminating information and holding institutions accountable, companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook are being taken to task for their choices to censor or to allow certain kinds of online content to flourish. The individuals on the frontlines of this conversation are paid to make these decisions, in front of computer screens in anonymous offices in Manila. While companies freely outsource the ethics of their platforms, the psychological labour performed has very real consequences on the moderators’ lives. Furthermore, each choice to delete or ignore a red flag can have far-reaching global effects, resulting in increasingly urgent conversations around free speech and the role of technology in our societies.-PP

Filmmaker

Hans Block

Hans Block (*1985) is a German theater director, filmmaker, and musician. He studied music (drums) at the University of Arts in Berlin, and theater directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. In 2014, Block became resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Box at Schauspiel Frankfurt. Productions there included Mysterien – Unberechenbar werden by Knut Hamsun, Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch by Fjodor Dostojewski and Flankufuroto by Bonn Park. In 2014, he was invited to the festival “Radikal Jung“ at the Münchner Volkstheater with his production Austrian Psycho, which was awarded the Best Production Prize of the festival. His radio drama production Don Don Don Quijote - Attackéee was awarded as best production of Prix Marulić 2015.

Filmmaker

Moritz Riesewieck

Moritz Riesewieck (*1985) is a German essay author, scriptwriter, and theater & film director. He worked at Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platztheater, studied directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin, and was granted the state of Berlin’s Elsa Neumann Scholarship for his innovative theater works, which have been shown at festivals in Berlin, Hamburg, and at Theater Dortmund. Riesewieck presented a lecture about digital cleansing at republica Berlin & Berliner Theatertreffen, and his essay Digital Dirt Work was published by German publishing house dtv in September 2017. Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck work collaboratively under the label “Laokoon". Their projects, which they develop in various media forms, start with investigations and end up as striking, complex narrations.

Justice Forum Panelist

Maite Taboada

Dr. Maite Taboada works in the areas of discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics and computational linguistics.  She has done research on discourse relations and sentiment analysis. Current work focuses on the analysis of online comments, combining insights from corpus linguistics, computational linguistics and big data. She is the director of the Discourse Processing Lab at SFU.

Justice Forum Panelist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is a world-respected futurist speaker, author, and researcher. He wows audiences with keynote speeches on the impact of exponential technologies. He regularly appears on the BBC, CBC, CTV, Global News, Fast Company, VICE, and The Atlantic.

Justice Forum Panelist

Amber Frid-Jimenez

Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist whose work is situated at the intersection of contemporary art, design and technology, exploring the circulation of digital images through large-scale installations, painting, books, code and virtual platforms. Her work has been exhibited in various art venues in Europe, Scandinavia and North America. Frid-Jimenez is currently Canada Research Chair in art and design technology and Associate Professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, where she directs the Studio for Extensive Aesthetics.

Industry Panelist

Paul Prescod

Paul has been developing social, collaborative web software for 15 years. He started his career building large-scale content collaboration systems used by organizations such as the State of California, World Intellectual Property Organization, DaimlerChrysler and the European Space Agency. On the basis of this work, he was invited to help define a key technology for Internet interoperability: the eXtensible Markup Language. Later, Paul co-authored The XML Handbook, one of the first and most influential books on XML.