Indian Facebook contractors, who help moderate the social media giant’s content, find the job “stressful,” and “traumatic,” according to Reuters.
The employees, who work at Facebook “outsourcing firm” Genpact in Hyderabad, India, reportedly “each view 2,000 posts in an eight-hour shift, or almost four a minute,” on a busy day.
“Seven content reviewers at Genpact said in interviews late last year and early in 2019 that their work was underpaid, stressful and sometimes traumatic,” reported Reuters. “The reviewers, all in their 20s, declined to be identified for fear of losing their jobs or violating non-disclosure agreements. Three of the seven have left Genpact in recent months.”
“On one team, employees spend their days reviewing nudity and explicit pornography. The ‘counter-terrorism’ team, meanwhile, watches videos that include beheadings, car bombings and electric shock torture sessions,” Reuters detailed. “Those on the ‘self-harm’ unit regularly watch live videos of suicide attempts — and do not always succeed in alerting authorities in time.”
One former employee told Reuters that they had “seen women employees breaking down on the floor, reliving the trauma of watching suicides real-time,” and according to Reuters, the “annual compensation at Genpact for an entry-level Facebook Arabic language content reviewer was 100,000 Indian rupees ($1,404) annually, or just over $6 a day.”
Another article published by the Verge this week documented similar troubles of Facebook content moderators at contractor Cognizant.
According to the Verge, content moderators resorted to using drugs while on break as an escape from the “misery” of seeing traumatic images on the platform, while others developed PTSD after leaving the company.
Some moderators also reportedly started to believe fringe conspiracy theories they saw while moderating, like the Flat Earth theory and theories about 9/11, and moderators have been “found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers,” eager “for a dopamine rush amid the misery.”