Digital Human Takes A Look At Modern Day Sin Eaters – The Content Moderators

Aleks Krotoski is back on BBC Radio 4 with a new series of the excellent The Digital Human and this week’s episode is entitled “Sin-eaters” :

Sin eating was an age old British practice carried out by those on the fringes of their communities. When someone died the sin eater would consume a ritualistic meal over the corpse and in doing so they would take on their sins. Whether they were outcasts because of this, or to start with folklorists can’t say. What is known for certain though is that they were among the poorest – who else would do it?

It’s a dirty job and someone’s got to do it. This episode takes a look at modern day Sin-eaters in the shape and form of content moderators. Early in the episode we hear this :

“One woman I spoke to, told me, after I stopped working on content moderation I wouldn’t shake people’s hand. If you’ve had the job that I’ve had you know that people are nasty.”

This is a harrowing episode in many ways, touching upon offensive content to content that is much much worse. This is the side of content moderation that we don’t hear much about, it’s a side of content moderation that isn’t widely talked about due in part to the fact that companies simply don’t want to talk about it and that in turn means it’s a side of content moderation that is greatly under appreciated.

Aleks Krotoski points out :

Their job is vital, but we treat them like second class citizens.

The episode features input from Sarah T. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Information Studies at UCLA who has been studying content moderation since 2010. Sarah runs a website on content moderation, or Commercial Content Moderation (CCM); The Illusion of Volition.

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I Have Upgraded To Windows 10 And I Feel Fine

Hurry Up!

So I fired up my PC when I got home from work and checked my notifications, to find Windows 10 was on its way. This was all rather exciting, I could hear the voices in my head :

Hurry up and get it installed“.

However the voices on Twitter were a different matter :

No no no“.

Insane in the membrane

You must be marbles and conkers“.

However I resisted the urge to stop the update, again my own voices speaking, although at times conflicting :

One Windows to rule them all“.

My precious, my precious“.

Turn back Dick Whittngton“.

Umm I think you’re confusing stories now and need to stop this!

Eventually, files had been downloaded, updates had been run, apps had been configured, settings had been configured and I logged in.

Windows 10 Success

Hurrah! Success. Now I should say at this point that this is not my suggested method of upgrading an operating system. I’m a big fan of the clean install. However I decided to let the Microsoft process do its work and I was rather impressed to discover that the apps I largely use seem to be working fine, without any need to reinstall them.

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How To Fix Flickr’s Embedding Mess (Whilst We Await Flickr Providing A Solution)

Crestwick Petrol

Flickr have, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the HTML code in their sharing photos option. They used to have an option to embed, or grab the HTML, now, if the new features has been rolled out to your account, you can only HTML embed by default, once the script has loaded properly, you’ll see a flickr logo, the name of the person whose photostream the image is from, the name of the photo and the description.

The reason for this is explained in a forum post, [Official Thread] New version of Flickr’s embed code :

Today we’re excited to start rolling out a new version of our HTML embed code, with more visible attribution of the photo owner and enhanced features.

This new code brings the features of the “iframe” web embeds and the compatibility of standard HTML image embeds together into a single code.

The way we’re accomplishing this is through “progressive enhancement.” This means that at the core of the new embed, we start with the same HTML image tag that has always been on Flickr, and if supported, we load the more sophisticated, enhanced embed. If the “fancy” embed isn’t supported or something goes wrong, the standard image will still load.

We’ve already been using the new embed code for months on the Flickr Blog… maybe you’ve noticed? Now we’re ready to roll this feature out to everyone, and we’d love your feedback.

The feedback has arrived, and the natives aren’t exactly jumping with joy. The problems are numerous, but they include images not aligning correctly, slowing down site loading, people complaining that it all distracts from the image, the fact that some people don’t name their photos and more. Do not despair if you have had these changes foisted upon you and you don’t like them, it’s only code and code can be edited. First of all, let’s take a look at that new code. Continue reading “How To Fix Flickr’s Embedding Mess (Whilst We Await Flickr Providing A Solution)”

Second Life Residents Start To Pay Their Respects To Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry's Avatar

One of the first things I did when I joined Second Life was to look up a group for Discworld, thinking that Second Life would be an ideal venue for such a group. Alas that didn’t go very far, despite there being many fans and surnames of Weatherwax and Morpork not being uncommon.

In October 2008 Terry Pratchett visited Second Life. The visit was to promote his book of Nation, but many people wanted to talk about Discworld. A couple of Lindens sneaked in to listen to him, he arrived on stage :

TerryPratchett Morpork: Hello everybody! Sorry, I’m new at all of this kind of stuff and so can anyone tell me how to get the rocket launcher? …and I’m not really into all of this YourTube into MyFace kind of stuff!

Michaelx Beerbaum: Question is if Second life will appear in one of the books?

TerryPratchett Morpork: As far as I am concerned, my books are Second Life.

Having thought long and hard, a quiet voice piped up :

Ciaran Laval: Do you think Moist Von Lipwig would have managed the banking system better than those currently in charge?

TerryPratchett Morpork: It seems that, primitive as it is, the Discworld economy is considerably more stable than the one here. And, come to think about it, Moist’s solution to the problem was not a long way from what has been done over here…

He was talking about real world economies not Second Life. Upon hearing of Sir Terry’s death today I decided to visit a location where fans do gather, the Time and Space sim and already they have start to erect a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett.

Tribute To Sir Terry Pratchett

They are also getting plenty of visitors, whom like me, want to visit locations whereby fellow fans may be around.

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Using Open Broadcast Software & SL Go To Record Videos In Second Life

Open Broadcast Software is free and Open Source software for recording or streaming video. The software is available for Windows, OSX or Linux. I’ve tried to use it before to record video in Second Life and my creaking PC couldn’t handle it. The results were crashtastic.

However I decided to give it a go using SL Go from OnLive and found, well it works, to a degree at least. Now I should point out here that I have pretty much no experience whatsoever in recording video footage from Second Life, so the results are not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination.

I was taking a look around A Tattered Page, from Cursed Events, when I decided to give it a whirl. By the way A Tattered Page is an interesting event, currently on round three with a theme of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, it combines literature with Second Life events and is therefore very worthy.

Now what I did here is pretty raw, I’ve engaged in no editing and just dumped the footage to a file.

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