A former Facebook content moderator says her previous job was so toxic that she developed a post-traumatic stress disorder from staring at child porn and graphic violence all day long that she has decided to sue the popular social media platform.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Former Content Moderator Sues Facebook, Claiming the Job Gave Her PTSD <a href="https://t.co/Wbeht9b9D9">https://t.co/Wbeht9b9D9</a> <a href="https://t.co/b0Qg3QINz2">pic.twitter.com/b0Qg3QINz2</a></p>— #Noticias #Lima (@LimaNoticia) <a href="https://twitter.com/LimaNoticia/status/1044536410647203840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 25, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Selena Scola worked through a contractor at the company’s Silicon Valley HQ for nine months. She filed a suit against both companies in California on Friday.
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The suit describes how it is to work as a content moderator for the social media giant. It says: “Every day, Facebook users post millions of videos, images, and live-streamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide, and murder.”
The suit adds what content moderators do, and why their job is so toxic. The suit reads: “To maintain a sanitized platform, maximize its already vast profits, and cultivate its public image, Facebook relies on people like Ms. Scola - known as ‘content moderators’ - to view those posts and remove any that violate the corporation’s term of use.”
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The suit also accuses Facebook of failing to protect its staff, content moderators especially, from the “psychological trauma” of doing their jobs given that Scola and her colleagues were required to view more than 10 million potentially objectionable posts every week.
Facebook helped write industry standards that say moderators’ exposure to child porn should be limited and even allow them to opt out of seeing it at all. It also includes a provision for the companies to provide mandatory counseling to staff. Scola in her suit claims that Facebook failed to implement such polices.
Scola claims Facebook is to be blamed for her suffering from “debilitating PTSD” that can be triggered simply by touching a computer mouse or even just entering a cold building.
It is not clear how much damages Scola and her lawyers are claiming but it is indicated in her suit that she wants the court to compel Facebook to implement the industry guidelines it helped craft and to fund a monitoring program to diagnose and treat moderators who are suffering “psychological injuries” from the job.