Facebook not protecting content moderators from mental trauma: lawsuit

Postado Setembro 25, 2018

The company uses a mix of full-time employees, contractors and companies to take care of the thousands of posts which need to be reviewed every day.

The suit, filed in San Mateo County last week, alleges negligence and failure to maintain a safe workplace.

The mental toll of moderating unsettling content on the internet is well-noted, and now it's the subject of a lawsuit against Facebook. "Instead the multibillion-dollar corporation affirmatively requires its content moderators to work under conditions known to cause and exacerbate psychological trauma".

As a content moderator, Scola was responsible for sifting through some of the most graphic and offensive content posted to the site in order to prevent it from being widely seen and shared.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, was filed on behalf of Selena Scola, who worked at Facebook for nine months under a contract through staffing company Pro Unlimited.

A former Facebook contract employee has lodged a suit against the company, alleging that content moderators who face mental trauma after reviewing distressing images on the platform are not being properly protected by the social networking giant.

"Facebook is ignoring its duty to provide a safe workplace and instead creating a revolving door of contractors who are irreparably traumatized by what they witnessed on the job", Korey Nelson of the law firm Burns Charest said in an announcement.

"Her symptoms are also triggered when she recalls or describes graphic imagery she was exposed to as a content moderator", the claim reads.

Why would Facebook be liable?

According to the filing in the Superior Court of California, the company is accused of ignoring workplace safety standards that help protect employees from psychological harm.

It asks that Facebook and its third party outsourcing companies provide content moderators with proper mandatory onsite and ongoing mental health treatment and support, and establish a medical monitoring fund for testing and providing mental health treatment to former and current moderators.