“The Bots (Greek market)” now streaming on DIS

We know everything we post to social media is screened and surveilled, reportable and deletable. There are “community guidelines,” “content restrictions.” Which community? Whose restrictions? It must be some algorithm, right?

The bots are not bots, they are human beings in offices applying rules handed down from outside, perhaps from some other office in California, onto content they must view — your vacation photos, your aunt’s Minions meme, beheadings, your uncle’s pornography, your neighbor’s glorifications of Hitler, your friend trying to make a living selling herbal teas, your local MP’s anti-immigrant diatribe.

We’ve embarked on a new video project along with writer Adrian Chen to talk to the non-bots. The Bots recounts interviews we conducted with the workers social media keeps hidden. To tell their stories we’ve borrowed the aesthetics of fake make up tutorials used on social media to bypass censorship.

E1: The Bots (Greek Market)
Featuring Bobbi Salvör Menuez

Now streaming on DIS and installed at Fotomuseum Winterthur for our exhibition Dear Imaginary Audience,