◐ Book Name: We Had to Remove This Post
◐ Author: Hanna Bervoets
Debt-ridden Kayleigh finds a job as a content moderator at a large social media company. Daily, she reviews violent and disturbing content to decide whether or not to remove it. As the months pass, she notices her colleagues’ mental health deteriorating and characters warping because of the constant hate and offensive posts they are subject to day after day.
◐ Review: 1/5 ⭐
I would actually give this zero stars, honestly. The premise of this little novella sounded oh-so-promising. The detrimental effects of evaluating all the negative social media content on people? How it feels to be inundated with that kind of toxic material and sometimes misleading information every day for months? To be sure, such an issue should be explored and discussed. However, this book fails to produce any meaningful discussion.
Instead, I was treated with a series of extremely disturbing cases, and their effects on..what? The narrator’s relationship and sex life?
First of all, the set-up is pretty silly, because the story is supposed to be Kayleigh’s letter of confession to a lawyer. In which case, why is she telling him intimate details of her personal life so graphically?
After my review on Kafka on the Shore, and now this, you might think I am against sex. Which, maybe a bit, BUT, I am very against it in fiction when it serves no purpose, and I am against it when it is described graphically until it seems gratuitous. Why do I need to read about Kayleigh’s fantasies, or what she and her girlfriend get up to in the storeroom, or how she masturbates while her girlfriend sleeps? I really don’t need to know about Kayleigh’s clit or what she’s doing with it.
There were so much unnecessary side plots that added absolutely nothing to the story. Had this been a fully fleshed out novel, it might have worked. As it was, they detracted from the point, so much so that I still don’t know what it was.
As for the job? Yes, she talks about it. And she describes some of the content she and her coworkers must review daily. This, too, felt gratuitous. Like torture porn, for no other reason than provocation. For a book that claimed to explore the topic creatively in fiction form, it really didn’t deliver.
Finally, what was up with that ending? It was abrupt. I feel kind of dumb because what was the point of it?
On that note, what even was the point of this book?