Former Facebook moderator accuses Meta of ‘modern slavery’

On Tuesday May 10, Daniel Motaung filed a complaint on behalf of 240 content moderators working for the outsourcing company Sama in Nairobi (Kenya). He claims that the job offer does not mention this type of task or the associated psychological risks, and denounces unworthy working conditions.

With the extreme violence of certain content on social networks, the profession of content moderator does not really make you dream. This can lead social networks like Meta to call on subcontractor companies, even if they do not warn employees of what awaits them.

Victim of post-traumatic stress

“The first video I saw was a live beheading”explained Daniel Motaung on Tuesday during a press conference. “Imagine what it can do to a normal person if you then watch other similar videos, images and content every day. » He added that he applied to Sama after college and wanted to lift his family out of poverty which is why he moved from South Africa to Nairobi. According to the complaint, the job advertisement only mentions ” administrative tasks “. After only six months of moderating content on Facebook, he considers his physical and mental health to have been “destroyed”.

In addition to the psychological impact of the task itself, Meta and Sama are accused of paying the moderators poorly: around $2 per hour. At the time, he then tried to form a union with other employees, which eliminated his dismissal. He therefore wants Meta to implement psychological support for these employees as well as payroll equivalent to that of full-time Facebook employees.

Moderation, the eternal problem of social networks

“We take our responsibility to the people who review content for Meta seriously and require our partners to provide industry-leading salaries, benefits and support.reacted a spokesperson for Meta to AFP. We encourage moderators to speak up about issues when they apply, and we regularly conduct independent audits to ensure our partners are maintaining high standards that we expect. »

The astronomical quantity of photos and videos permanently published on social networks, sometimes containing extremely violent content, makes the job of content moderator unbearable. At the end of March, two former moderators also filed a complaint against TikTok for “emotional distress”. Two years ago, Facebook had already had to pay $52 million to thousands of moderators as compensation for the trauma caused by their work.

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