A Facebook moderation compensation claim has been submitted against the social media giant in Ireland by a former contractor for a company that providing moderation of content for the platform.
CPL Solutions is just one of many companies that supplies content moderation to Facebook and makes up a small part of the Facebook network of moderators that is thought to include 15,000 people globally.
Chris Gray, the individual who has taken the case at Facebook, claims that he suffered psychological injuries he sustained as a result of the content he had to view on a daily basis in his role – content he said was ‘extremely disturbing, graphic and violent’. Today he submitted his legal action to the High Court in Dublin against the Irish subsidiary of Facebook and CPL solutions.
He claims the content he had to view included executions, lethal beatings, stonings, whippings, the abuse of children, animal torture and extreme sexual content”. As a moderator he was expected to filter through all content published on the platform in order to remove inappropriate graphic content with a 98% accuracy rate for choosing the correct option.
Mr Gray believes that the training and support provided to workers viewing this disturbing content is inadequate due to the “what seemed like a relentless flow of extreme and graphic material” without adequate support or training. He said that the stress and trauma was such that he could not talk about work-related issues with his superiors in a calm and professional fashion.
Facebook released a statement that said that they know that “reviewing certain types of content can sometimes be difficult” but that they are providing training and full-time support to moderators. They are also seeking to put in place technical solutions to restrict the amount of graphic material they must witness saying “This is an important issue and we are committed to getting this right.” CPL was unavailable for comment.
Foxglove, the United Kingdom-based not-for-profit group is supporting the compensation claim. The group have been conducting a campaign to force Facebook to address the conditions that the works must operate in. Ms Cori Crider, a director of Foxglove said: “In a few years’ time we are going to look back on these conditions and see them the way that we now see early unsafe factory work in a steel mill or a meat-packing plant in the early 20th century.”