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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

Ciné-ONU Film Screening: "The Cleaners"

Date: 23 Sep 2018

Ciné-ONU Film Screening:
As part of UNRISD's ongoing engagement with the topic of new technologies and human rights, join us for a free public screening of the documentary film "The Cleaners", in conjunction with Ciné-ONU and with support from Cinérama Empire, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The film, shown this year at Sundance Film Festival, explores the shadow industry of digital cleaning to expose the dangers to democracy and human rights it represents. It follows five "digital scavengers" who are employed, in secret, to delete "inappropriate" content off 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 often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts.

Yet underneath their work lie profound questions: what makes an image art or propaganda? What defines journalism? Where is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship?

The screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion with:
  • Ms. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Research Director and Expert on Business and Human Rights, New York University Stern School of Business and HEC Lausanne
  • Mr. Jacques de Werra, Professor, University of Geneva
  • Mr. Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator, UNRISD

Moderated by Ms. Catherine Frammery, Expert Digital Journalist, Le Temps

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UNRISD is also hosting a side event on the topic of new technologies and human rights at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday 26 September. Click here to find out more.