| CURRENT EVENTS "Today I want to tell you what it's like to be a content moderator for Facebook"

TerryP

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Today I want to tell you what it's like to be a content moderator for Facebook at its site in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a job that pays just $28,800 a year — but can have lasting mental health consequences for those who do it.


The secret lives of Facebook moderators in AmericaIn a damning new report, Casey Newton gives an unprecedented look at the day-to-day lives of Facebook moderators in America. His interviews with twelve current and former employees of Cognizant in Ar…https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18229714/cognizant-facebook-content-moderator-interviews-trauma-working-conditions-arizona


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 I spoke with started bringing a gun to work to protect himself.

In stark contrast to the perks lavished on Facebook employees, 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.

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. A former employee told me that he no longer believes 9/11 was a terrorist attack.

Employees are developing PTSD-like symptoms after they leave the company, but are no longer eligible for any support from Facebook or Cognizant. "I'm fucked up," one moderator who now has PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder told me.

I also spoke with employees on the site who told me they like their jobs, despite its challenges, and feel safe and supported at work. Not everyone emerges from this work with lasting trauma.

But this call-center model — which is also used by Google, Twitter, and others — puts essential questions of speech and security in the hands of folks who are being paid as if they're doing customer service for Best Buy.

I hope you'll take the time to read my full report, and let me know what you think. I'll have more stories from my reporting on this subject all week in The Interface.




((This is a series of Tweets unrolled through threadreader. Here's the original tweet.))

 

TerryP

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On the other end of the spectrum, I've been amused several times reading over accounts of their moderators and the superiority complexes a lot have about the way they control content.

"I'll govern what you read, but feel sorry for me with the anxiety I'm feeling while I do my job."
 

sk33tr

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ptsd?

go talk to someone who fought for their country, watched their brothers get killed/blown up//decapitated, lose a limb(s)/etc, and saw other unspeakable terrors.....then come talk to me about ptsd.

these people chose as job that didn't turn out as they expected (which is stupid if you don't do some research on the company from former/present employees points of view).....then made the conscious decision to stay there. they could've left at any time....with no repercussions.

a person can choose to join the military, not knowing what they're getting into (which, again is stupid, in my opinion...do some research, people). but, after they find out it's not they thought it would be, they can't just leave. they have to stay....or chance getting arrested and charged with desertion and/or going awol. both of those are crimes punishable with prison time, fines, forfeiture of rank and pay, and dishonorable discharge. all of those make it very difficult to get a decent job.

so equating "work ptsd" to actual combat ptsd...is like equating a blowout on the interstate to a road-side bomb exploding in irag or afghanistan and taking out a military humvee.
 

planomateo

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so equating "work ptsd" to actual combat ptsd...is like equating a blowout on the interstate to a road-side bomb exploding in irag or afghanistan and taking out a military humvee.
Perhaps I missed it, where was the comparison of the two?

Remember that guy who killed a stranger on the side of the road and broadcast it live on Facebook. I'd say that that could be traumatic to some.

I have no clue what these moderators are actually masking from others, do you?
 

sk33tr

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Perhaps I missed it, where was the comparison of the two?

Remember that guy who killed a stranger on the side of the road and broadcast it live on Facebook. I'd say that that could be traumatic to some.

I have no clue what these moderators are actually masking from others, do you?
they didn't, i did.

i just don't believe that anyone with a job as a content moderator can have ptsd due to that job. so i was making a comparison of ACTUAL ptsd...like those who served in the military. but a content moderator at facebook? i don't believe it. like...AT ALL.

like the reporter who fired an AR-15 for the first time and he said it gave him ptsd because of the sound and smell. yeah....ok, pal. whatever.
 

rick4bama

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they didn't, i did.

i just don't believe that anyone with a job as a content moderator can have ptsd due to that job. so i was making a comparison of ACTUAL ptsd...like those who served in the military. but a content moderator at facebook? i don't believe it. like...AT ALL.

like the reporter who fired an AR-15 for the first time and he said it gave him ptsd because of the sound and smell. yeah....ok, pal. whatever.
I would like to know? What would happening if he fired a M203, Law, M60, 50cal? He would be in a corner ball up and crying his little bitter eyes out!
 

sk33tr

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I would like to know? What would happening if he fired a M203, Law, M60, 50cal? He would be in a corner ball up and crying his little bitter eyes out!
on a call-in show, he said it was like firing a bazooka. seeing as how i HIGHLY doubt he's ever fired a bazooka, he has no basis for comparison.

and he also called it a weapon of mass destruction.
 

rick4bama

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on a call-in show, he said it was like firing a bazooka. seeing as how i HIGHLY doubt he's ever fired a bazooka, he has no basis for comparison.

and he also called it a weapon of mass destruction.
The only Bazooka he know is the one he put in his mouth when he was a little boy!
 

TerryP

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on a call-in show, he said it was like firing a bazooka. seeing as how i HIGHLY doubt he's ever fired a bazooka, he has no basis for comparison.
It may have the recoil of a M1 Carbine. Maybe. Hell, a .380 ACP has more ... over 5lbs.
 

TerryP

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@sk33tr Here I am a half of an hour later still laughing at that guy. The diplomatic side of my personality wants to call him "intellectually dishonest." I'm calling the comparison pretty 'effin stupid.

It reminds me of the NYT reporter who took a trip to Colorado just after their marijuana laws were changed. Her report was dealing with edibles and she had an uncontrollable reaction to the candy bar she had eaten. Her article detailed what she'd been through.

When...WHEN...the instructions on the bar were to take a bite. Not the whole damn thing. It was, literally, a case where she ignored the instructions/directions and then blames the product for her actions and reactions.
 

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