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Facebook to pay $ 52 million to content moderators traumatized by violent images

They criticize the social network for not properly protecting its employees (direct or via subcontractors) responsible for removing content that violates the rules of the platform.

Facebook puts his hand in his pocket. The social network has agreed to pay $ 52 million (48 million euros) to content moderators as compensation for the mental health problems their tasks can cause. Two law firms, which advised the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, announced it on Tuesday, May 12.

These two firms criticize Facebook for not properly protecting its employees (direct or via subcontractors) responsible for removing content that breaks the rules of the platform. The original complaint was filed in a California court in September 2018, on behalf of Selena Scola, a former moderator who claimed to have developed post-traumatic stress disorder after 9 months of regularly watching violent images.

“Every day Facebook users post millions of images or live videos of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicides and murders”, related the complaint. And to add: “To maintain a sanitized platform, maximize its already substantial profits and take care of its public image, Facebook relies on people like Selena Scola to view these posts and remove all those who contravene its rules.”

According to the agreement signed with the American group, more than 11,000 Facebook moderators in the United States, old and current, will receive at least 1,000 dollars (922 euros) each. Those who have been diagnosed with specific disorders will receive additional sums to pay for their medical expenses (up to 50,000 dollars, or 46,000 euros).

“We are grateful to the people who are doing this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone”reacted Facebook, without acknowledging the allegations in the complaint. “We are committed to providing them with the additional support provided for in this agreement and more in the future”.

The agreement provides that Facebook and its subcontractors provide moderators with psychological support sessions with sworn therapists and better tools to improve their working conditions.

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