Out on 26 May 2022

We Had To Remove This Post

Hanna Bervoets

Translated by Emma Rault
See more book details
26 May 2022
144 pages


'Taut as a thriller, sharp as a slug of ice-cold vodka'. Irish Times

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.

'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 Things

'An acid glimpse into a new form of labor existing today.' Ling Ma, author of Severance

Bervoets' neat dissection of morality is as taut as a thriller, sharp as a slug of ice-cold vodka.

Irish Times

The dank underside of social media, its cruelty and delusions, have become, our shared affliction. It needed an accomplished novelist to explore humanely the damage. Hanna Bervoets has richly obliged in this superbly poised, psychologically astute and subtle novel of mental unravelling. At its wonderful, hallucinatory climax, Kayleigh, the shattered protagonist, asks on our behalf the one true question, and the spellbound reader will usefully struggle for an answer.

This novel gives us an acid glimpse into a new form of labor existing today, a job that extracts an immeasurable psychic toll. Fascinating and disturbing.