National / International News

The invisible labor that keeps Facebook clean

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:24

Social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube have a problem. In a way, it's a good one to have. 

The grandma problem.

As social networking has gone mainstream – in other words, "even Grandma is on Facebook" – the seedier side of the web becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Say Grandma logs in to check out new family photos or videos, and then she's bombarded with everything from violent car crashes to the most vile kinds of pornography? Not a good user retention strategy. 

Enter the content moderator. She makes sure the really icky stuff the Internet has to offer doesn't show up next to photos of the grand kids. She is part of a massive workforce, which one expert estimates at over 100,000 around the world. Or, 14 times the size of Facebook. 

Adrian Chen wrote about content moderators for the November issue of Wired. His reporting took him to the Philippines, where outsourcing firms pay content moderators as little as $300 per month. 

"What the companies told me was that people in the Philippines, because of the cultural connection to the U.S., were better-equipped to screen content for American and Western audiences," Chen said. 

But no content moderator is well-equipped for the volume of vile content that the screening process entails. 

"People get a darker view of humanity," Chen said, adding, "seeing all this abnormal stuff all day gives you a twisted view of what's really going on out there."

The full article, including accounts of some of the terrifying content that moderators see, is at

CVS Pulls Apple Pay, And Many See A Fight Over Mobile Wallets

NPR News - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:23

Rite Aid took the same step, leading many observers to note that the two companies are part of a group of retailers that's developing its own payment system, called CurrentC.

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Staff suspended in hospital probe

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:22
Five more medical staff are suspended or moved to other duties as part of an inquiry into the care of patients at a mental health ward in north Wales.

Fourth arrest over fatal shooting

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:21
Detectives investigating the murder of Edward Gibson in a west Belfast gun attack at the weekend make a fourth arrest.

Egypt gives new powers to military

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:17
The Egyptian leader authorises the military to protect state facilities after jihadists killed more than 30 soldiers last week.

Djokovic unconcerned about top spot

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:17
Novak Djokovic says he is not concerned about the number one spot as he returns to action following the birth of his first child.

Toronto voters to elect new mayor

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:15
Toronto residents are going to the polls to elect a new mayor, six weeks after Mayor Rob Ford dropped his bid for re-election amid health concerns.

Last British troops leave Helmand

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:15
The last UK troops leave Helmand province in Afghanistan, as a poll suggests 68% of the UK public think the campaign was not "worthwhile".

Tunisia secularists set to win vote

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:12
Tunisian secularists are poised to win the most seats in a close-run parliamentary election, pushing the ruling Islamists into second place.

Budget plan requires £700m cuts

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:10
Northern Ireland's finance minister proposes cuts of more than £700m to Stormont departments in a budget plan circulated to his executive colleagues.

Discharge for quarantined US nurse

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:05
A nurse quarantined in New Jersey after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is to be discharged after being symptom-free for 24 hours.

Penalise bad traders, suggests Bank

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:05
More could be done to punish traders who try to manipulate financial markets, the deputy governor of the Bank of England has said.

SFA seeks Ashley's plans for Rangers

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 10:01
The Scottish Football Association writes to Rangers and Mike Ashley to clarify his intentions for the Championship club.

Fisherman's creel killed rare turtle

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:53
A 6ft leatherback turtle drowned off the east coast of Scotland after being caught in fishermen's creel ropes, experts discover.

Pet Shop Boys top cover version vote

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:52
The Pet Shop Boys' 1987 hit Always On My Mind is voted the top cover version of all time in a BBC Music vote.

The numbers for October 27, 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:43

With the euro-zone teetering on the edge of another recession, all but 25 of the continent's major banks passed stress tests conducted by the Central Bank. Thirteen of those must make up a 9.5 million euro shortfall.

Italy was the country that fared the worst, with nine of its banks failing the test. The Wall Street Journal picks up the country-by-country breakdown. Overall the report is meant to quell fears about the beleaguered European economy.

This week is heavy with tech earnings again. Twitter reports after the closing bell today and Facebook, tomorrow. In the mean time, here's what we're reading - and the numbers we're watching - Monday.


That's the number of retailers listed on Apple's website as supporting the company's mobile payment system, which launched a week ago. As the Verge points out, while main banks back the service, eight of the participating retailers are Foot Locker brands and one is Apple itself. Meanwhile, several big stores like CVS, Wal-Mart and Best Buy aren't supporting Apple Pay because they are part of a competing mobile payment system set to launch next year.

68 percent

The GOP's chances of taking over the senate in the upcoming midterm elections. The Washington Post reports that Democrats have scooped up quite a few newspaper endorsements, and while that might not be enough to hold the Senate, those nods can still have an impact on the results. 


That's how much fast food employees make in Denmark, nearly two and a half times what they make in the U.S., the New York Times reported. Some have pointed to the unionized Danish fast food workforce as an example for how American workers should be treated, while others say it's impossible to fairly compare the two countries. The Times cites one study that says half of all fast food workers are on some type of public assistance.

Brown rules out Scottish Labour bid

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:39
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ruled himself out of the Scottish Labour leadership contest, the BBC understands.

Immigration not a menace, Welby says

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:23
Immigration must not be seen as a "deep menace", but must be managed "prudently and carefully", Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says.

How NHS staff will help treat Ebola

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:16
Meet the NHS volunteers heading to West Africa

Sotheby's sued over Caravaggio claim

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-27 09:13
The former owner of a painting that was auctioned for £42,000 sues Sotheby's because he now believes it is by Italian master Caravaggio and worth £11m.