Moderators, Murder, Memes
Posted by <Anonymous> on 2021-09-15
There is a direct link between the PTSD that drone operators feel, the PTSD content moderators feel, and the online desensitization that you -- the reader -- feel.
I got online in the fall of 2005, at 8 years old. Before then I was exposed to single websites, like CoolMathGames or other baubles, but this was the day I overheard a conversation about Funnyjunk. I remember because the first day I surfed online I saw somebody die. The video was a person falling from an apartment building, onto a power line, a flash of sparks, and the body falling to the ground. This caused quite a stir at school, and I was ready to go back for more stories to share. Within a month I had found 4chan. These websites didn’t have flash games however, and once I heard of ArmorGames and Newgrounds the gore and reading became much less interesting. My relationship with the internet has gone through many phases, but the relationship has never abated even slightly. This is not unique.
The most common thread of my internet footprint was gore and shock content. Regardless of the website or content there was always some shock or gore within reach or thrust upon users. Whether the place was moderated or not, there appeared an arms race to find and furnish grotesque posts. This is not unique.
The banality of gore online, and the presence of moderators to limit the gore particular users are exposed to, brings a level of darkness into the lives of ordinary people. The background radiation of death, deaths which one played no part in nor had no control of, becomes a toxic buildup in the body. This is not unique.
This darkness used to be compartmentalized in society, for better or worse, in the sections of people which interfaced with death routinely: the medical community, the legal community, and the military community. Now this darkness is imminently accessible, democratized, and subsided. In the case of drone operators, there is an entire expropriative mechanism forcing people into the jobs. For mods it is economic, and for users it is entertainment. This is unique.