WE HAD TO REMOVE THIS POST by Hanna Bervoets
Translated by Emma Rault
Strapped for cash, Kayleigh takes a job as a content moderator at social media platform, Hexa. Following a raft of weirdly pedantic training modules, she is set loose on the worst the internet has to offer - animal cruelty, live-streamed self-harm, extremist propaganda of every shade - and made to decide what stays and what goes. Little does she know the hellride she and her little team are in for.
Framed around a class action lawsuit that Kayleigh is at pains to resist joining, We Had To Remove This Post is a disturbing glimpse into the effects of saturated sensationalism and the desperate need to be noticed. Bervoets manages to avoid the cheap finger shake, though. This isn’t a sermon from your grandma. Indeed, as it becomes ever more clear that Kayleigh is an unreliable narrator, the reader is forced to become a content moderator of sorts, too. Has she led us down a path of her own madness? Have we, too, become desensitised to the horrors she may yet commit? Are we even equipped to decide? By the end I wasn’t sure. But I was creeped the hell out.
We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets (Tr. Emma Rault)