Worst Timeline

Facebook Moderators Are Dying at Their Desks

Facebook moderator: "I think Facebook needs to shut down."

6. 19. 19 by Dan Robitzski
Shutterstock/Victor Tangermann
Image by Shutterstock/Victor Tangermann

Hell Factory

At a Facebook content moderation facility in Tampa, Florida, contractors working for Cognizant are regularly subjected to traumatizing, unsanitary, and dangerous conditions — that in at least one case literally led to a death.

The contractors, who review as many as 200 flagged Facebook posts per day depicting animal abuse, sexual abuse, murder, and other horrifying acts, are subjected to hellish work conditions. That’s according to an investigation by The Verge‘s Casey Newton that reveals how tens of thousands of people spend their days exposed to the very worst that the internet has to offer.

Horror Stories

One such contractor had a heart attack at his desk, later dying in a hospital — in part, perhaps, because Cognizant doesn’t provide on-site defibrillators. The next day, management refused to tell the deceased contractor’s coworkers what happened, instead insisting that he would be fine while passing around a get-well card.

Other employees broke their non-disclosure agreements to share how they had to work at filthy desks when they were violently sick because taking the day off would mean getting fired. Even more talked about how HR ignored or laughed-off reports of sexual harassment and violent threats.

Advertisement

“I think Facebook needs to shut down,” one moderator told Newton.

Temporary Workforce

Ultimately, Newton concludes that massive platforms like Facebook and Google treat their armies of content moderators as disposable because they believe that artificial intelligence will someday be able to do the job for them.

Newton writes that the human moderators, many of whom walk away with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, are “viewed as a speed bump on the way to an AI-powered future.”

READ MORE: BODIES IN SEATS [The Verge]

Advertisement

More on Facebook: Facebook Mods Are so Traumatized They’re Getting High at Work


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.