They work anonymously to scrub the Internet of the most graphic and disturbing material.
Images and videos depicting child pornography, war-zone atrocities and animal abuse are some of the things they’re paid to view on a regular basis.
They look at it so we don’t have to.
But who are these digital do-gooders?

imagesCAH6HI7RThey’re Internet content reviewers, the faceless workers who screen user-generated content before it goes online and vet material flagged as inappropriate already up on websites.
Western University professor Sarah Roberts has spent more than three years researching the secretive underworld of what she’s dubbed the commercial content moderation industry.
untitledTech giants from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube employ content reviewers, either in-house or outsourced, in a never-ending battle to keep their sites free of illicit material.

“The work itself is unpleasant but the fact that there’s a necessity for that work is sort of an unpleasant reality related to social media platforms,” said Roberts, a professor in the faculty of information and media studies.
The content reviewers Roberts has interviewed reported experiencing lasting effects from viewing disturbing material, from flashbacks and substance abuse problems to being unable to talk about their work with friends and family.
“They weren’t walking away unscathed,” Roberts said.

drunk3Most content reviewers sign non-disclosure agreements and the companies that employ them refuse to talk about the unpleasant nature of the work, so much remains unknown about the industry, said Roberts, who was recently spoke about her research at UCLA.
With the rise of the Internet and explosion of social media, the content moderation industry is only expected to grow. Some companies have tried using software to do the work, but there’s no match for the human eye.
Roberts found many of the workers, typically young and underpaid, were proud of the work, with some describing their duty as keeping the Internet from becoming a “cesspool.”
(Too late! -Ed.)
Dear Readers: ………………….. Ew!

At first, the family thought they had a mouse in their kitchen but when their cat refused to go into the room after being chased, they began to worry.
The problem became clear when they opened a cabinet and found the 16-inch-long rat.
“I was terrified. It was so huge that I barely saw what it was, and I jumped up on the kitchen table,” Erik Bengtsson-Korsås said.
The told authorities things got even worse when the furry terror got bold enough to roam the floor when the family was in the same room.
It also chewed its way through a water pipe, causing a small flood.
The Daily Mail reports the family called an exterminator who decided to put out huge traps to catch the creature.
Viking_ratWhen they heard a loud “snap,” they thought the nightmare was over.

It wasn’t.
“The rat was so big, it wouldn’t fit in the trap, just its tail was caught!” Erik began.
Instead, the rat was strong enough to scurry off, dragging the trap along with it.
However, in its desire to escape, the animal made a mistake.
“It went underneath a wooden plant, where it got stuck and choked itself to death,” Mr. Bengtsson-Korsås finished.
untitledResponding to a report about a “naked man who was riding a tricycle throughout” a New Jersey housing complex, police last night arrested the 31-year-old after they found him hiding under a stairwell.

Jones, who was sans clothes, “was chewing on glass and cigarette tobacco” when confronted by a Lakewood Police Department officer. Seen in the adjacent photo, Jones “admitted to ingesting cocaine,” cops reported.
Police transported Jones to a local hospital for treatment of minor cuts to his mouth caused by his glass chewing. He was later charged with disorderly conduct and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Jones was released from state prison in November after serving more than two years for a robbery conviction.
Tasha Adams didn’t think she was doing anything wrong. “I didn’t know it was illegal. If I knew it was illegal, I wouldn’t have done it.”
untitledTasha was arrested after a waitress called police when she saw her breastfeeding her six month old with several drinks in front of her.
“I watched the bartender make them, looked like Long Islands. But, regardless if it was that or not, then it was strong liquor that was in those glasses,” Jackie Connors told ABC News 20/20.
Adams admitted to drinking two beers at a Conway, Arkansas restaurant while she and her family had dinner after a funeral.

“I did drink. I did breastfeed,” Adams admitted to 20/20.
Arkansas doesn’t have a law that addresses drinking and breastfeeding.
However, officers on-site said they decided to make the arrest for child endangerment.
(Since that time, the Conway city attorney has decided to drop the child endangerment charge due to insufficient evidence.)
We got a real good “Asshole of the Day” for ya bunky!

asshole trophyHe may have been drunk to start with, but if that was the case it’s likely a 23-year-old engineering student who jumped into a zoo enclosure and taunted two tigers sobered up during the 45 minutes he was in there.
He also, amazingly, survived unscathed.
Yashonandan Kaushik scaled a 20-foot-wall at the Gwalior Zoo to get into the tiger’s area. Shirtless and drinking out of a container he carried with him, Kaushik followed the retreating tigers to the entrance of their interior den. He then returned to another area of the pen and sat cross-legged on a rock until police got him out.
Indian police said Kaushik’s father took custody of his son, who would otherwise have faced charges related to attempted suicide.
Here’s a whole bunch of stories to make you lose faith in humanity!

1396011216000-XXX-TVOTW-SUPERHEROES-03-102013Christopher Reeves arrested in Superman shirt:One surefire way to have your otherwise nondescript arrest on drug charges make headlines is to have the name Christopher Reeves and get caught while wearing a Superman shirt. The weirdness stuck out to police in Davis County, Utah, too.
Police find mom hiding in bedroom at teen party: Not that unusual: Cops show up to bust a teen party involving booze, and find someone hiding in a bedroom. Unusual: That person is the home’s 56-year-old owner, and mother to the 18-year-old who threw the bash. It happened in the wee hours of Tuesday morning in Florida.

973109-6-20140325151611Cops: Man freed after 15 years robs same store: Christopher Miller robbed the Stride Rite shoe store in Toms River, N.J., in 1999, got caught, and served 15 years in state prison. Police say he became a free man last Friday and celebrated by catching a bus to Toms River and, yes, robbing the same Stride Rite shoe store. This attempt didn’t go so well, either.
Teen gets $31,000 in bank error, goes shopping: This one technically isn’t a crime yet, but the clock is ticking. After a bank mistakenly deposited $31,000 in an 18-year-old’s account, he immediately spent $5,000 with his ATM card and withdrew another $20,000 in cash. Problem: Now the bank wants its money back, or it’s going to press charges.
Cops: Guy burned down house to impress woman:

untitledWell, this is one way to try and score a date: Police say a North Dakota man burned down a farmhouse … to impress a lady. It was a very strange chain of events that ultimately led to this discovery, which got Fredrick Bohjanen Jr. charged with arson and other felonies last week. From the Park Rapids Enterprise:
  • Police responded to a call about a stolen tractor battery on October 8, one of several similar incidents reported in the area over the course of a few days. The owner of the tractor said he saw Bohjanen loading batteries into a truck with his father.
  • According to Bohjanen’s father, his son said he’d been given the batteries; he was planning to sell them to get some of his money back after bailing Bohjanen out of jail.
  • Nine of the batteries matched the description of stolen ones, so police got a search warrant for a home belonging to a second man—Daniel Hengst—and found an alleged marijuana grow operation.
  • Amanda Hengst, who had lived at the house, told police Daniel Hengst and Bohjanen had recently started growing marijuana, and that they were also in possession of the stolen batteries.
  • Daniel Hengst told police he helped Bohjanen hide the batteries, which Bohjanen wanted to sell to get money for pot.
  • And then, finally, the kicker: Daniel Hengst told police he’d been drinking with Bohjanen and two women at a farmhouse when one of the women asked Bohjanen to burn down a house. They drove to another farmhouse, Hengst said, where Bohjanen set a sheet on fire to impress the woman; it set the farmhouse ablaze, and the group drove away to watch it burn from a distance. One of the women later corroborated the story, but said Bohjanen wanted to burn the house down because it was falling apart.

A viral report this week claimed the North Korean government was forcing male college students to get Kim Jong Un’s haircut.
The story originated with Free Radio Asia, a not-for-profit news agency based in Washington, D.C.
The story reported the ruling Workers’ Party ordered students to get the leader’s hairstyle with “shaved sides and long parted top,” according to the Free Radio Asia story.
MEANWHILE: North Korea’s ambassador told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday to “mind your own business” during a debate on crimes against humanity documented in his country by U.N. investigators.