Facebook treats its censorship workers like shit


This 18 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Anti-War Journalist Censored By Facebook For BS Reason

Facebook has removed – in what some are calling the “Facebook purge”- more than 800 pages and accounts. Although the social media giant says those deleted were rule breakers engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior”, some of their defenders have claimed the sweeping action amounts to an attack on independent media, both representing left and right-wing political views.

You can read some of their responses later in this article.

From The Verge in the USA:

The Trauma Floor

The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America

By Casey Newton

Feb 25, 2019, 8:00am EST

Key findings:

  • 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 can be fired after making just a handful of errors a week, and those who remain live in fear of former colleagues returning to seek vengeance. One man we spoke with started bringing a gun to work to protect himself.
  • 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.
  • Employees are developing PTSD-like symptoms after they leave the company, but are no longer eligible for any support from Facebook or [its subcontractor] Cognizant.
  • Employees have begun to embrace the fringe viewpoints of the videos and memes that they are supposed to moderate. The Phoenix site is home to a flat Earther and a Holocaust denier.

… No one tries to comfort her. This is the job she was hired to do. And for the 1,000 people like Chloe moderating content for Facebook at the Phoenix site, and for 15,000 content reviewers around the world, today is just another day at the office.

Over the past three months, I interviewed a dozen current and former employees of Cognizant in Phoenix. All had signed non-disclosure agreements with Cognizant in which they pledged not to discuss their work for Facebook — or even acknowledge that Facebook is Cognizant’s client. …

But the secrecy also insulates Cognizant and Facebook from criticism about their working conditions, moderators told me. They are pressured not to discuss the emotional toll that their job takes on them, even with loved ones, leading to increased feelings of isolation and anxiety. To protect them from potential retaliation, both from their employers and from Facebook users, I agreed to use pseudonyms for everyone named in this story except Cognizant’s vice president of operations for business process services, Bob Duncan, and Facebook’s director of global partner vendor management, Mark Davidson. …

Collectively, the employees described a workplace that is perpetually teetering on the brink of chaos. It is an environment where workers cope by telling dark jokes about committing suicide, then smoke weed during breaks to numb their emotions. It’s a place where employees can be fired for making just a few errors a week — and where those who remain live in fear of the former colleagues who return seeking vengeance.

It’s a place where … team leaders micromanage content moderators’ every bathroom and prayer break; where employees, desperate for a dopamine rush amid the misery, have been found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers; where people develop severe anxiety while still in training, and continue to struggle with trauma symptoms long after they leave; and where the counseling that Cognizant offers them ends the moment they quit — or are simply let go. …

Chloe cries for a while in the break room, and then in the bathroom, but begins to worry that she is missing too much training. She had been frantic for a job when she applied, as a recent college graduate with no other immediate prospects. When she becomes a full-time moderator, Chloe will make $15 an hour — $4 more than the minimum wage in Arizona, where she lives, and better than she can expect from most retail jobs. ..

The moderators include some full-time employees, but Facebook relies heavily on contract labor to do the job. Ellen Silver, Facebook’s vice president of operations, said in a blog post last year that the use of contract labor allowed Facebook to “scale globally” — to have content moderators working around the clock, evaluating posts in more than 50 languages, at more than 20 sites around the world.

The use of contract labor also has a practical benefit for Facebook: it is radically cheaper. … A content moderator working for Cognizant in Arizona … will earn just $28,800 per year. The arrangement helps Facebook maintain a high profit margin. In its most recent quarter, the company earned $6.9 billion in profits, on $16.9 billion in revenue. And while Zuckerberg had warned investors that Facebook’s investment in security would reduce the company’s profitability, profits were up 61 percent over the previous year. …

Until recently, most Facebook content moderation has been done outside the United States. But as Facebook’s demand for labor has grown, it has expanded its domestic operations to include sites in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

Miguel is allowed two 15-minute breaks, and one 30-minute lunch. During breaks, he often finds long lines for the restrooms. Hundreds of employees share just one urinal and two stalls in the men’s room, and three stalls in the women’s. Cognizant eventually allowed employees to use a restroom on another floor, but getting there and back will take Miguel precious minutes. By the time he has used the restroom and fought the crowd to his locker, he might have five minutes to look at his phone before returning to his desk.

Miguel is also allotted nine minutes per day of “wellness time”, which he is supposed to use if he feels traumatized and needs to step away from his desk. Several moderators told me that they routinely used their wellness time to go to the restroom when lines were shorter. But management eventually realized what they were doing, and ordered employees not to use wellness time to relieve themselves. (Recently a group of Facebook moderators hired through Accenture in Austin complained about “inhumane” conditions related to break periods; Facebook attributed the issue to a misunderstanding of its policies.)

Facebook built a ‘panic chute’ escape tunnel for Mark Zuckerberg in case of emergencies and spends $10 MILLION each year on personal security to protect the CEO from bomb threats, stalkers and angry employees: here.

8 thoughts on “Facebook treats its censorship workers like shit

  1. Pingback: Facebook ‘s Zuckerberg wants more internet censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: Facebook censors photography museum | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Facebook workers expose their boss’ privacy scandal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: How Facebook makes billions for boss Zuckerberg | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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