We Had to Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets, the human cost of social media

Social media, that petri dish of envy, falsehood, insecurity and obsession, has become a rich source of thriller plots over the past five years. Indeed, the social media mystery has evolved with the platforms themselves, from Laura Marshall’s Facebook potboiler Friend Request (2017) to Ellery Lloyd’s Instagram thriller People Like Her (2021).

We Had to Remove This Post is a very different and disturbing addition to the canon. It’s a chilling page-turner, narrated by Kayleigh, formerly a “quality assurance worker” at Hexa, a firm that removes harmful videos and images as they’re uploaded to an unnamed social media site. Sixteen months after she quit, people still ask: “So what kind of things did you see?” The answer: self-mutilating teenagers, men kicking dogs to death, child

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