Facebook to pay US content reviewers more amid criticism

Cornelia Mascio
Мая 14, 2019

Facebook has been requiring USA -based contractors to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour since 2015, but the company said in a blog post Monday morning that it found those wages not to be sufficient: "In the years since, it's become clear that $15 per hour doesn't meet the cost of living in some of the places where we operate". Facebook employs 15,000 contract moderators globally - more than any other tech company. Facebook has been criticized for not paying the workers enough and not providing enough support.

"In the years since, it's become clear that $15 per hour doesn't meet the cost of living in some of the places where we operate".

Contract content reviewers living in New York City; Washington, DC; and the San Francisco Bay area where costs of living are high will be paid at least $22 hourly. Content moderators will get more. Seattle residents will get $20 per hour and those in all other metro areas in the United States will start at $18 per hour. So in addition to the pay raise, the company is requiring its contractors to provide on-site counseling during all hours of operations, not just during certain periods of the day. But Gale said the wage increases should help the majority of Facebook's US contractors. Facebook said the changes will arrive by mid-next year. But it plans on developing similar standards for contract workers based in other countries. And even its thousands of human workers can't catch everything.

Tech giants don't include moderators or contractors such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers in their official head count of full-time employees, which for Facebook stood at 37,700 worldwide at the end of March.

Facebook is giving its content moderators a raise, months after a series of media reports shed light on the often harsh working conditions for the people keeping the social network's platform safe. The move follows criticism that Facebook underpays content moderators forced to constantly slog through the worst digital detritus that humanity has to offer. Some turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement said it raised the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15.59 per hour beginning July 1. "Way before those articles came out".

"We made these changes after hearing feedback that reviewers want more control over how they see content that can be challenging", Facebook said. Moderators will soon be able to review videos without sound, opt-out of autoplay videos, and look at images in black and white, rather than color.

Facebook also said that it will require vendors to provide on-site counselors at all times while the people are working.

Facebook will now "ensure counseling support is available on site, during all hours of operations, not during only the day shifts", he added.

Content reviewers for the world's largest social network deal with disturbing content including suicides, violence and sexually graphic posts.

Employee activism at places such as Google and Facebook has placed a spotlight on contract workers.

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