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Facebook will pay 900 to 46,000 euros in compensation to its “traumatized” American moderators

According to the plaintiffs' lawyers, “the suffering inflicted by this work is real and severe”. DAMIEN MEYER / AFP

A thousand dollars, or the equivalent of 922 euros, for each of the 11,250 American moderators who sued Facebook, their current employer or former employer: this is the preliminary agreement reached by the lawyers for the two parties. Signed Friday May 8 at the Supreme Court of San Mateo, California, which is expected to be approved by the end of the year. In total, Facebook could pay up to $ 52 million to the complainants, moderators who have worked in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida since 2015.

Compensation supposed to cover medical care, which could be reassessed up to 6,000 dollars (around 5,500 euros) for the complainants who have been diagnosed with depression or addiction – that is to say half of them their lawyers. In addition to compensation for these medical treatments, employees who can prove that they suffered other harm while working at Facebook may receive up to $ 50,000 (approximately 46,000 euros) in compensation.

They believe they are suffering from post-traumatic stress, by dint of evaluating and moderating the illegal content (violence, murder, rape, child pornography, etc.) posted on the social network. “The suffering inflicted by this work is real and severe”, according to Steve Williams, one of the lawyers for the complainants.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Murders, pornography, racism … In the shoes of a Facebook moderator

Coaching and group therapy promised

In addition to financial compensation, Facebook is committed in the future to better train and support its moderators, with weekly individual coaching sessions and monthly group therapies. The American company has also agreed to modify its moderation tools so that, by 2021, the videos will be shown to its moderation teams in black and white, with the sound cut by default.

Selena Scola was the first to file a complaint against Facebook on September 21, 2018. At the time, the ex-moderator criticized the company and its subcontractor, Pro Unlimited, for having it “Exposed to highly toxic, unhealthy and offensive content” without the necessary precautions.

Read also Former Facebook moderator files post-traumatic stress complaint

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