The mental health of European Facebook moderators is not sufficiently protected

The mental health of European Facebook moderators is not sufficiently protected

This is what a Menlo Park collaborator testified before an Irish commission, explaining that instead of professional psychologists Facebook sends its moderators to "wellness coaches" who propose improbable remedies

(photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman for The Washington Post via Getty Images) Facebook is once again in the spotlight for treating its content moderators. A collaborator of the platform testified to the Irish parliamentary committee saying that the giant of Menlo Park does not work hard enough to protect its workers who have the task of sifting through Facebook by removing the violent and disturbing content.

According to the witness. , non-employee moderators do not have access to the mental health resources Facebook makes available to its workers. Facebook would provide an hour and a half a week consultation held by "wellness coaches" who would not be mental health professionals at all, nor adequately equipped to help moderators process the traumatic content they deal with. In the testimony it emerged, for example, that these wellness coaches suggest activities such as painting or karaoke as a cure for post-traumatic stress.

"That content is horrible, it would affect anyone," the witness said at a press conference after the hearing. "Nobody can feel good after seeing explicit violence seven to eight hours a day."

Facebook has denied everything, however, claiming to be "committed to working with our partners to provide support" to its moderators. "Everyone who reviews content for Facebook undergoes an in-depth training program on our community standards and has access to psychological support to ensure their well-being," the Facebook spokesperson told Engadget. "In Ireland, this includes 24/7 onsite support with trained professionals and access to private healthcare from day one. We are also employing technical solutions to limit their exposure to potentially explicit material as much as possible. This is an important issue, "continued the company spokesman.

Facebook, in fact, has made significant investments in the field of artificial intelligence to lighten the workload on the mental health of its moderators. Menlo Park, in 2020, has already agreed to pay $ 52 million in compensation to moderators in the United States who claimed their work had caused him some form of post-traumatic stress and other mental health disorders.

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