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Facebook & CPL Solutions Facing Content Moderator Legal Actions due to Traumatic Content

Posted: December 4th, 2019

Following the submission of a legal action to the High Court by a former content moderator for the social media platform today, a number of additional compensations are expected from other individuals who were employed in the same position by Facebook and CPL Solutions.

The claim submitted yesterday was filed by Mr Chris Gray. He claimed that he was expected to view a range of inappropriate content on a daily basis and filter out graphic content with a 98% accuracy rating. The claim said that the content included material such as “various scenes of people dying in different accidents … set to a musical soundtrack. [Gray] had a long argument with the quality point of contact [a senior role] about whether the music meant that the person posting it was ‘celebrating’ or whether it just counted as disturbing content.”

Mr Gray said that he experienced severe trauma and stress due to the nature of the content he viewed and his work targets. He developed difficulty sleeping and would often awaken in the night due to nightmares or worry that he filed something incorrectly. He said: “It took me a year after I left to realise how much I’d been affected by the job. I don’t sleep well, I get in stupid arguments, have trouble focusing.”

Foxglove, a UK-based not-for-profit group, is lending its support to the Irish case against Facebook. Cori Crider, Foxglove’s director, said: “The reason we’ve got involved is that we think that social media factory floors are unsafe and need to be cleared up. In a decade we’re going to look back on this as we did at meat packing plants at the turn of the century. Facebook’s only going to pay attention to things when they know that they’ve got a typhoon bearing down on them. What I’d like to see is the moderators realising how much power they have if they just organise. Because let’s face it, social media as we know it could not exist without the labour people like Chris provide.”

Mr Gray, who is being represented by Coleman Legal Partners, is expected to be the first of many former content moderators working with CPL Solutions and Facebook to seek workplace trauma compensation in relation to work duties. His solicitor, Diane Treanor revealed that Facebook content moderators based in Berlin and Barcelona have also been in touch in relation to joining a lawsuit. Mr Gray, speaking about the legal action said: “If I can get them better working conditions, better care, then that also improves the quality of the content moderation decisions and the impact on society.”

A representative for Facebook commented: “We are committed to providing support for those that review content for Facebook as we recognise that reviewing certain types of content can sometimes be difficult. Everyone who reviews content for Facebook goes through an in-depth, multi-week training program on our 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. We are 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.”



Categories: Work Injury News

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