Who’s job is it to take out the digital trash?

Dorothea Hoehtker is a senior researcher at the ILO RESEARCH department

How do Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites protect you, the consumer, from disturbing content on the web? Many of us think our computers’ sophisticated algorithms perform such constant editing, but algorithms are not able to make subtle distinctions, e.g. between art and pornography. Rather, technology companies rely on people to do this work. They are the so-called Commercial Content Moderators (CCM).
While CCMs remain largely invisible, some scholars, journalists and artists have started to bring attention to this workforce and the toll editing the Internet takes on them.

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New technologies and the dynamics of job creation

Irmgard Nubler, senior economist at the International Labour Organization

The recent wave of innovation and technological change has sparked a lively debate on the future of work. Some believe that technological innovations will destroy jobs on a massive scale, forecasting a jobless future. Others are confident that forces will be mobilized that create new jobs and even a golden age of quality job creation. This optimism is supported by historical experience which demonstrates that initial phases of job destruction were eventually followed by strong job creation. One of the central issues is, then, whether the current wave of technological change will once more generate a sustained process of jobs creation. Another one is how policies can support this process to meet aspirations of societies.

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If in doubt about labour standards…ask the ILO


Manager, ILO Helpdesk for Business

We’ve dealt with quite a few surprising questions at the ILO Helpdesk for Business since it was launched four years ago for company managers and employees who want to know how best to implement International Labour Standards (ILS) in their work.

But probably the strangest involved a bank, a fish farm, prison labourers and blankets in a tropical climate.  Continue reading