Company risked lives by forcing us back to office

At a Facebook delete center in Berlin, agents, who work for a third-party firm, remove illegal hate language from social networks.

Gordon Welder for the New York Times

More than 200 Facebook content moderators in the US and Europe have written an open letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and urged him to let him work from home during the coronovirus epidemic.

“We, undersigned Facebook Content Moderators and Facebook employees, write to express their disappointment at their decision to risk their lives – and the lives of our partners and loved ones – to sustain Facebook’s profits during the epidemic For, “reads the letter, which was published on Wednesday.

“After months of allowing content intermediaries to work from home, Facebook faced intense pressure to keep it free from hate and disintegration, you have forced us to return to the office.”

Intermediaries demand that Facebook maximize work at home, provide hazardous salaries, end outsourcing, and provide “real” health care and psychiatric care.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC that the company appreciates the work of its content reviewers and prioritizes their health and safety.

The social media giant, which is constantly struggling to keep its platform free of questionable posts, photos and videos, outsources much of its content to companies like Accenture and CPL.

“Before the epidemic, content moderation was easily Facebook’s most brutal work,” reads the letter, addressed to Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, as well as Accenture CEO Julie Sweet and CPO CEO Anne Herati is. “We stayed awake for hours on end through violence and child abuse. Moderators working on child abuse material had increased targets during the epidemic, with no additional support.”

“Now, on top of work that’s psychologically toxic, hiring means walking in a hot area. In many offices, many COVID cases have hit the floor. Workers have led Facebook, and your outsourcing firms leadership Like asked. Accenture and CPL, to take immediate steps to protect us and to value our work. You refused. We are publishing this letter because we have no choice. “

Last month, The Guardian reported that Facebook moderators at CPL were being forced to work in a Dublin office despite a high-level lockdown, while Facebook’s own staff worked from home.

Intermediaries, who are paid significantly less than the average Facebook employee, claim in the letter that Facebook’s AI software cannot detect all the content that violates the company’s policies.

“Without our work, Facebook is unusable,” the letter continues. “Its empire collapses. Your algorithms cannot satirize. They cannot take journalism away from disintegration. They cannot respond adequately to suicide or child abuse. We can.”

“Facebook needs us. The time has come for you to accept this and value our work. It is immoral to sacrifice our health and safety for the benefit.”

A Facebook spokesperson said: “While we believe in having an open internal dialogue, these discussions need to be done honestly. Most of these 15,000 global content reviewers are working from home and for the duration of the epidemic Will continue to do so. “

He said: “They all have access to healthcare and confidential wellbeing resources from the first day of employment, and Facebook has surpassed health guidance on securing facilities for any office work.”

CPL and Accenture did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More than 25 Facebook content moderators in Dublin recently quit taking jobs with Tiktok’s new Trust and Safety Hub.

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