Circuits of Care: Filipino Content Moderation and American Infostructures of Feeling

Marte-Wood, Alden Sajor; Dimatulac Santos, Stephanie
Verge: Studies in Global Asias

Thousands of Filipino commercial content moderators are now tasked with reviewing disturbing or offensive media on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. By using the frame of intimate labor, this essay situates content moderation as the most recent iteration of the United States' long dependency on Filipino care workers. We analyze the implications of Filipino care's structural subordination within American social media platforms that produce infostructures of feeling, a term we develop to describe the historically specific digital articulation, contestation, and reconfiguration of twenty-first-century sociality itself. To these ends, we examine how American-dominated platform capitalism disassembles, distributes, and encodes Filipino care. Finally, we highlight how moderators in the Philippines are insisting on their own embodied irreducibility by demanding the recognition of their invisible care work.