Kayleigh needs money. That's why she takes a job as a content moderator 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.
But when her colleagues begin to break down; when Sigrid, her new girlfriend, grows increasingly distant and fragile; when her friends start espousing the very conspiracy theories they're meant to be evaluating; Kayleigh begins to wonder if the job may be too much for them. She's still totally fine, though - or is she?
We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets is a chilling, powerful and urgent story about what - or who - determines how we see the world.
PRAISE FOR WE HAD TO REMOVE THIS POST
'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.' Ian McEwan, author of Atonement