Almost 200 content moderators from Europe and America have written a letter to Facebook urging the company to take care of the health of its mods and let them remotely work amidst the pandemic

'Controversy' is Facebook’s middle name, and even when the company tries to do something good, someone somewhere rises and raises questions about its actions. The company has faced a lot of criticism for its lenient content moderation policies, but now when it is trying so hard to keep its platform free of hate speech, violent and abusive content, it is still receiving criticism. But this time, this criticism is coming from almost around 200 content moderators from all over America and Europe who have been outsourced through companies like Accenture and CPL.

What happened recently is that a group of 200 content moderators wrote down an open letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO of Accenture Julie Sweet, and Anne Heraty, the CEO of CPL. Through this letter, the content moderators have tried to express their disappointment in Facebook’s demands for them to work on tough deadlines, least support, and low pay scale, and then forcing these outsourced moderators to come down to the offices even when there is a pandemic going on. Recently, The Guardian also reported that some of Facebook’s moderators at CPL were forced to work in a Dublin office despite a heavy lockdown imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, Facebook’s own employees get the reprieve to work from home.

But a spokesperson from CPL said that although the content moderators are right to point that their jobs are very important to keep the platform of Facebook safe and healthy, the nature of their job requires them to come down and work from the office rather than from home.

The content moderators have pointed out in their letter that Facebook’s AI system can never moderate content the way these human beings do. Of course, the software cannot differentiate between satire and a harmful threat in a post. So, the importance of human moderation cannot be overlooked or denied, and these human beings must be given their due rights, which include health and proper psychological help benefits. Their pay scale also should be raised and if the condition demands, then they should be allowed to work from home too.

A spokesperson from Facebook has said that there needs to be an open and honest dialogue between the company and these moderators who have complained. The company provides all health benefits to them just the way it provides to its own employees. Around 15000 global content reviewers have access to all the health care and well-being resources just the way a Facebook employee has. And all these people have been working from home since the pandemic began. So, these complaints need to be based on honesty.

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