The digital age. An era of keyboard heroes:
the silent ones, the unmentioned organs.
Guardians unseen, soldiers unarmed –
content moderators. Our lives speak
of our past, present and future.
Sorting biting posts, we find in each
strange voices whose tune none understands.

Like curtains our eyes face bright screens,
drawn across gleams of violence,
flashes of raw content.
Working conditions shred our morale,
where our eyes scream and faces frown.
Owning nothing, beyond minds,
cyberspace opens pale tales
of fear, without hope near.

We see, we scream at the screen.
We work in precarious zones, silently
sorting tales meant for the sane world.
We toil alone, the outsourced ones,
enduring long hours in loneliness.
Bulk sand tasks for meagre pay.

Swiftly, with boldness,
we confront the plague of darkness.
Slowly, we bleed the web of its horrors.
Yet every word – every image – is a scar,
permanently engraved. We ask
when society will see us.

Alongside our strength is our fear.
The terror of layoffs that strike
like a sword, dreadful, unpredictable.
Moderating for the survival of all,
bread crumbles like sand.

Blind with uncertainty, working for fear,
with joblessness pending.
Lacking everything, safety included, we fall
without refuge or solace.
Left with shattered dreams, we are scattered again
to cope alone with loss in a void world,
a wrecked technological world,
a world of quiet killing, slow suffocation.
Pity this future.

But amidst the hopelessness,
light. A distant radiant hope,
rising softly from the mad mud. Claiming
justice, we seek our long-denied rights,
plot over days and nights
a fight for generations, our perfect future.

With united voices, undenied, undaunted,
with justice our spear, we –
the forgotten souls – make our stand.
In boardrooms and courtrooms alike
we demand a just hearing and a fair hand.
Our voices sing in unison
for better compensation and equity,
transparency and mental healthcare.
A campaign to drum against dead ears,
and prise open closed eyes.
We cry, and rally to fill the air,
for we care for what’s clear, what’s fair.

Our legal battle burns and rages, a world war
of humanity, in serenity, for transparency.
We stand firm, unshaken by violence,
for we know our value, we know
the global power of our hands, swift
to shape the future, to make the web a place
worthy of use – a safe haven for dwelling.

Our red sweat will forever paint the web,
our journey will awaken once-lost glory.

So we unlock and unblock
the sealed ways and paths for others
to stand by our side in solidarity,
to heed our call as a whole, to abide together.
For, with strength, we must collectively address
the plight of content moderators to the world.
Together we are journeying towards AI fairness,
a longed-for progress, to a place we belong.

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Letter from the Editors
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The Battle to Control the Carbon Media Cycle
Archive of Disappearances
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An interview with Audrey Tang
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The Unpredictable Things
When the Path We Walked Blocks Our Ways Forward
Letter of the Editor
A viewpoint on Craft and the Internet
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Ethical Tech around the World
Interview with Gillian Crampton Smith
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The Internet as a Lota
A Medieval Crash
A Gandhian Dream
Evolutionary Craft