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Summary

To be a content moderator is to see humanity at its worst—but Kayleigh needs money. That’s why she takes a job working for a social media platform whose name she isn’t allowed to mention. Her job: reviewing offensive videos and pictures, rants and conspiracy theories, and deciding which need to be removed.

It’s gruelling work. Kayleigh and her colleagues spend all day watching horrors and hate on their screens, evaluating them with the platform’s ever-changing moderating guidelines. Yet Kayleigh is good at her job, and in her colleagues she finds a group of friends, even a new girlfriend—and for the first time in her life, Kayleigh’s future seems bright.

But soon the job seems to change them all, shifting their worlds in alarming ways. How long before the moderators own morals bend and flex under the weight of what they see?

We Had to Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets is a chilling, powerful and gripping story about who or what determines our world view. Examining the toxic world of content moderation, the novel forces us to ask: what is right? What is real? What is normal? And who gets to decide?

Translated from the original Dutch by Emma Rault.

©2022 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Taut as a thriller, sharp as a slug of ice-cold vodka." (Irish Times)

"A superbly poised, psychologically astute and subtle." (Ian McEwan, author of Atonement)

"Fast paced and thrilling, violent and nightmarish and grief-stricken." (Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Thing)

What listeners say about We Had to Remove This Post

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Meh

It’s alright. Bit short, bit vague, more about the woman’s relationship with a colleague rather than her experience of being a content moderator. Disappointing

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Engaging, unique story

I listened to this in one sitting which was a very interesting experience. I really enjoyed the story and the exploration of how social media and exposure to controversial content that comes to us under the guise of the 'truth', is slowly changing and rewriting how we see reality and our history too, as well as how it is inevitably changing how we are as people, and interpersonally. The ending was a bit of a strange one for me, I'm not sure what it was trying to say? It may have been a little too ambiguous for me. But a great experience listening on the whole, non the less.