Mark Zuckerberg’s drive for income may finish with their deaths.
So argue the greater than 200 content material moderators who printed an open letter Wednesday accusing the Facebook CEO of hypocrisy and a wanton disregard for his or her well being throughout a raging pandemic. In demanding many return to the workplace, the moderators insist, each Zuckerberg and the CEOs of content material moderation corporations CPL and Accenture have taken the psychologically taxing job of content material moderation and added the lethal factor of coronavirus publicity.
The letter, which was additionally posted to Facebook’s Workplace channels, lays out each an inventory of grievances and calls for. It additionally highlights Zuckerberg’s wealth beneficial properties — he has virtually doubled his throughout the pandemic — whereas noting that content material moderators aren’t even getting hazard pay.
The coronary heart of the matter, in response to the content material moderators employed by third-party corporations akin to Accenture, is that many are actually required to work from the workplace with few exceptions. This, regardless of confirmed coronavirus instances in moderator buildings.
“We, the undersigned Facebook content moderators and Facebook employees, write to express our dismay at your decision to risk our lives — and the lives of our colleagues and loved ones — to maintain Facebook’s profits during the pandemic,” opens the letter.
The letter, addressed to Zuckerberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, (third-party moderation firm) CPL CEO Anne Heraty, and Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, says that Facebook’s synthetic intelligence is lower than the duty. As such, the letter insists, Facebook is more and more depending on the moderators it now places in hurt’s means.
“To cover the pressing need to moderate the masses of violence, hate, terrorism, child abuse, and other horrors that we fight for you every day, you sought to substitute our work with the work of a machine,” reads the letter. “The AI wasn’t up to the job. Important speech got swept into the maw of the Facebook filter — and risky content, like self-harm, stayed up.”
We reached out to Facebook for a response to the claims, in addition to to the letter writers’ calls for. Unfortunately, the corporate’s on-the-record response boiled all the way down to accusing the moderators of dishonesty.
“While we believe in having an open internal dialogue, these discussions need to be honest,” wrote the spokesperson. “The majority of these 15,000 global content reviewers have been working from home and will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic.”
Notably, Facebook has a protracted historical past of bending — or full on misrepresenting — the reality to go well with its wants. As The Verge reported in October, Facebook content material moderators are being “forced” again to the workplace in Dublin, Ireland. The Verge reported, additionally in October, that Austin-based moderators employed by Accenture had been instructed to report back to the workplace final month.
In distinction, Facebook instructed its staff — assume software program engineers, public relations groups, and venture managers — that they may make money working from home till at the least July of 2021.
The signatories of Wednesday’s letter — a good portion of which remained nameless, in response to the New York Times, for concern of reprisal — need the flexibility to make money working from home. They additionally need to be made staff at Facebook, arguing cogently that they’re elementary to the social media platform’s existence.
“By outsourcing our jobs, Facebook implies that the 35,000 of us who work in moderation are somehow peripheral to social media,” notes the letter. “Yet we are so integral to Facebook’s viability that we must risk our lives to come into work.”
Facebook’s casually dismissive response makes clear that the corporate would not take the letter signers’ considerations severely. Facebook customers should ask themselves in the event that they consider the moderators — and if that’s the case, are they prepared to maintain utilizing a platform that endangers employees across the globe for the sake of sharing pictures and misinformation.