Nearshore Americas

Facebook Sued by Content Moderators Over ‘Horrifying’ Videos

Facebook content moderators in Kenya have sued the social media giant, claiming that the job has taken a heavy toll on their mental health, leading to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The moderators (who worked at Sama, a Facebook contractor in Nairobi, Kenya) claim they were regularly exposed to images and videos of child sexual abuse, beheadings and other horrific content.

The lawsuit is the first known court challenge outside the United States, the Associated Press reported, adding that it could have implications for how social media companies manage content moderation.

Sama dismissed the accusations that it pays a low salaries, claiming it pays moderators four times the average wage in the African country.

Moderators play an essential role in the operation of a social media platform. They monitor all content posted, removing illegal and offensive information before it is widely distributed in the network.

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Many of the moderators AP spoke to claimed they did not receive enough training or assistance to deal with the psychological impact of their jobs. Above all, the moderators are forbidden to share or discuss the horrible information they delete, which makes it difficult for them to sleep and focus.

The moderators are asking Facebook to set up a US$1.6 billion fund to pay staff and provide job training.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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