Facebook moderators are suffering psychologically

Behind every time you delete a publication or comment on Facebook, there is a woman or man who makes this decision. In a long investigat...


Behind every time you delete a publication or comment on Facebook, there is a woman or man who makes this decision. In a long investigation, The Verge focused on these people, their profession and its consequences on their lives.

Facebook employs more than 30,000 people to ensure online safety, half of whom are part of the moderation teams. They are present in more than twenty sites around the world, speak more than fifty languages and contribute to having a network of active moderation around the clock.

Most of them are hired by subcontractors, a way to drastically reduce the wage bill. The median salary on Facebook is $240,000 per year (about 210,000 euros), while a moderator hired by a service provider earns $28,800 per year (about 25,000 euros). The Verge saw this when he visited the offices of Cognizant, a subcontractor in Phoenix, Arizona.

Chloe, a young novice is training the recruits. In an exercise, she has to moderate a video posted on Facebook of a man being stabbed and murdered. After succeeding, she leaves the room in tears. To relax, respondents confide in smoking cannabis daily, others practice black humor or drink to forget. Management even had the locks removed from some rooms to prevent the team from having sex to relieve stress.

Mental disorders

Repeated viewing of these types of images has important health consequences. Some people have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. A former employee says he is traumatized by the violent videos. He became a fan of conspiracy videos and never moves without his gun. "I don't think it's possible to do this job without getting out with a stress disorder or PTSD," he says.

To deal with these ills, the moderation centers employ counselors to offer psychological follow-up to those who wish to do so. But, these are described as quite passive by some sources. The intensity of a day does not help. Only two 15-minute breaks per day are allowed, often in the long line in the toilet, and a 30-minute lunch break. Another nine-minute break is given for "wellness time", understand when someone has to take a break after one too many shocking videos.

The majority of people surveyed anonymously in the survey report a sense of isolation. All of them have signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits them from sharing details of their work with their relatives in order to protect the private data of Internet users. It also protects them from potential revenge by an angry user.

Following The Verge's investigation, Facebook defended itself in a statement: "We are committed to working with our partners to demand a high level of support for their employees; it is our responsibility and we take it seriously.

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WikiFortress: Facebook moderators are suffering psychologically
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