The Cleaners

The Cleaners

Release Date



  • Hans Block
  • Moritz Riesewieck

A look at the shadowy underworld of the Internet where questionable content is removed.

    Dive into a secret, third-world shadow industry of online content moderation through the stories of five “digital scavengers,” a handful of thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content from the internet. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of intense images every day, from war-zone photography to pornography, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lies profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. The Cleaners  reveals the bitter reality that social media is as much a tool for expression as it is a platform for radicalized social and political opinions, the impacts of which are equally urgent and not fully understood.

    Photo courtesy of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion

    Past Programs


    [VIRTUAL] Delete, Ignore, Delete

    Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN