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Facebook grossly underpays its content moderators, while also giving them PTSD

Seriously, this is f*cking grim.

person scribbling on facebook logo on phone
Image: Unsplash

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, Facebook is making more headlines for all the wrong reasons. The good news is that your data wasn’t hacked today to be used in a brainwashing sex campaign (probably). The bad? Hoo boy, where does one even begin?

In a scathing report published by The Verge, the social networking giant has been accused of imposing the kind of workplace conditions on its content moderators that would make Jeff Bezos blush. I’m talking awful compensation, horrendous facilities, impossible benchmarks for its employees … the list goes on.

It honestly can’t be conveyed in a blurb or two, but here are a few highlights:

  • Moderators in Phoenix will make just $28,800 per year.
  • Team leaders micro-manage content moderators’ every bathroom break. Two Muslim employees were ordered to stop praying during their nine minutes per day of allotted “wellness time.”
  • Employees have been found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers, in what one employee describes as “trauma bonding.”
  • Moderators cope with seeing traumatic images and videos by telling dark jokes about committing suicide, then smoking weed during breaks to numb their emotions. Moderators are routinely high at work.

Citing interviews with a dozen anonymized former employees of Cognizant – one of the many vending service companies through which Facebook contracts its moderators – The Verge’s report lays out a fucking grim reality in which these moderators are not only coping with a near constant stream of violent and traumatic content through drug use and trauma sex, but in some cases, are being radicalized by the very content they’re supposed to be flagging.

“People really started to believe these posts they were supposed to be moderating,” said one former employee, referencing to a quality assurance expert who was “was actively trying to recruit other people” into believing things like Flat Earth theories and “the Holohoax.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to do the job and not come out of it with some acute stress disorder or PTSD,” said another former employee.

Seriously, this doesn’t even begin to describe it. Go read The Verge’s report now, then chase it down with a shot of Fireball because Facebook is the goddamn devil.

Are you surprised by this news? Is anything regarding Facebook surprising anymore? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writer. Editor. Barelyknewer. Hate mail can be directed to j j o n e s @ k a r s f o r k i d s d o t e a r t h l i n k

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