Facebook has agreed to a US$52 million court settlement to compensate content moderators who suffered mental trauma from the graphic and violent images they were required to review. The payment will be made to more than 10,000 current and former content moderators who worked for firms contracted by the company.
According to The Verge, in September 2018, former Facebook moderator Selena Scola sued Facebook, alleging that she developed PTSD after being placed in a role that required her to regularly view photos and images of rape, murder, and suicide.
Scola developed symptoms of PTSD after nine months on the job. The complaint, which was ultimately joined by several other former Facebook moderators working in four states, alleged that Facebook had failed to provide them with a safe workspace.
According to the lawsuit, lead plaintiff Selena Scola told The Guardian “You’d go into work at 9 am every morning, turn on your computer and watch someone have their head cut off. Every day, every minute, that’s what you see. Heads being cut off.”
Following the court settlement, each moderator will receive a minimum of US$1,000 and will be eligible for additional compensation if they are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or related conditions, including payments up to US$50,000.
In the settlement, Facebook also agreed to take measures to provide content moderators employed by its contractors in the United States with mental health support and counseling. “We are so pleased that Facebook worked with us to create an unprecedented program to help people performing work that was unimaginable even a few years ago,” plaintiff attorney Steve Williams said in a statement.
“The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe. This settlement will provide meaningful relief, and I am so proud to have been part of it,” added Williams.
Source: AFP Relaxnews