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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Moderators taking action against Facebook over violent imagery and graphic content

Facebook said the company is “committed to providing support for those that review content for Facebook”.

Image: Shutterstock/Twin Design

A NUMBER OF people who worked as content moderators for Facebook have launched legal proceedings against the company in the Irish High Court today. 

Some of the moderators are also suing the third-party recruiting firm CPL Solutions.

It is understood that the people taking the case are seeking compensation for personal injuries caused by the content they were exposed to during their time as moderators. 

Diane Treanor, the lawyer who is leading the case, told that some of her clients had been left traumatised by the content that they were exposed to and that they now suffer from mental health issues, including PTSD. 

Treanor said the moderators were provided with counselling services during their time with the company. However, she said no resources were available to them to assist with their health after they left the job. 

She argued that employers are obliged to ensure there is a safe place of work available for employees. 

She claimed her clients were not advised on the extent of the “violent imagery” that they were to review. 

Treanor said the clients were seeking compensation, but that they have also taken the case to ensure that Facebook addresses the issues going forward. 

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company is “committed to providing support for those that review content for Facebook”. 

“We recognise that reviewing certain types of content can sometimes be difficult,” they said. 

The spokesperson added that everyone who reviews content for Facebook goes through an in-depth, multi-week training program on the company’s community standards and has access to “extensive psychological support to ensure their wellbeing”. 

“This includes 24/7 on-site support with trained practitioners, an on-call service and access to private healthcare from the first day of employment.”

The spokesperson said Facebook is also “employing technical solutions to limit their exposure to graphic material as much as possible”. 

“This is an important issue and we are committed to getting this right.” 

There are currently around 15,000 people based around the world who review content for Facebook. 

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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