Friday, September 28, 2018

"Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook" (FB)

From The Register:

Endless series of beheadings and horrible images take mental toll, US lawsuit claims
Updated A Facebook contractor hired to keep the social network free of beheadings, rape, torture and the like has sued the tech giant and its contracting firm, Pro Unlimited – for allegedly failing to protect workers from the psychological trauma arising from exposure to disturbing content.
The complaint, filed on behalf of San Francisco resident Selena Scola on Friday in a San Mateo County court in California, describes content moderation work at Facebook as seeing a series of beheadings, every minute, every day.

Facebook, the complaint explains, employs thousands of contractors to sanitize the millions of videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts sent to the site every day. Many of these contain particularly gruesome, upsetting content.

"As a result of constant and unmitigated exposure to highly toxic and extremely distributing images at the workplace, Ms Scola developed and suffers from significant psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder," the complaint says.

Psychological trauma appears to be a common affliction for those exposed to images of graphic violence and abuse. Last year, former members of Microsoft's Online Safety Team sued the software giant over similar stress.

Facebook in its most recent Transparency Report said the company removed 3.4 million pieces of content in Q1 2018, up from 1.2 million pieces of content in Q4 2017. The Silicon Valley titan attributes the increase to improved detection technology (~70 per cent), a bug fix that prevented graphic photos from receiving warning banners (~13 per cent), and a surge of content depicting graphic violence (~17 per cent)....MORE