back to article Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook

A Facebook contractor hired to keep the social network free of beheadings, rape, torture and the like has sued the tech giant and its contracting firm, Pro Unlimited – for allegedly failing to protect workers from the psychological trauma arising from exposure to disturbing content. The complaint, filed on behalf of San …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

    If I were told by my Contracting Firm I was going to be moderating Facebook, I think I'd be aware of what I was being required to do.

    Mind you, I think I'd find the general mindless drivel far more traumatic than the gross extremist material.

    The nasty might make you question humanities value as a species, but I think the vast masses of pointless moronic self-absorbed consuming humdrum would eventually force you to the conclusion that humanity was without question a dangerous and mindless immoral voracious locust species and the nastier portions of the population preying on the rest was natures desperate attempt to thin the numbers somewhat.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

      I sort of agree. If you get forcibly moved into a new department and have to moderate violent content, that is one thing.

      If you take a contract, where you are informed beforehand that you will be watching disturbing content, you know, more or less, what you are letting yourself in for. It seems like part of the story is missing here.

      The question is, did she take advantage of the benefits? Did she know before hand, that she was going to be in that department? Did she receive the training and still carry on with the contract, knowing what she had let herself in for?

      Did Facebook not offer the support it says it offers such staff?

      A lot of missing information, which makes it impossible to draw a conclusion on whether she is a snowflake or whether she has a genuine case.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Hang on, so you're a snowflake..

        ...if a constant stream of human beheading videos upsets you? So snowflake just means "normal human being" now?

      2. Giovani Tapini

        Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

        If they took a job they knew they were not really suitable for (it happens) just to complain that's bad and should be dealt with appropriately.

        OTOH I don't consider myself a snowflake but being forced to read/watch that sort of content as a full time job would certainly not do me good. I don't believe it is suitable for a full time role if the content is that horrific all the time. Even soldiers in battle (yes there are exceptions) are not exposed continuously to that sort of thing for prolonged periods. And the exceptions were certainly not unaffected...

        This activity is almost always likely to require human help, even if software can take some of the volume away there will be a balance or appeals that require review.

        Notwithstanding the fact this specific claim may or may not be spurious, I do suspect there is an issue of approach that needs looking at.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

          @Giovani, I agree. the whole approach does seem very callous and I should think it takes a very special sort of person to watch this sort of thing all day and not be affected by it.

          But if you know that going in, it is a bit rich to complain sue the company, unless they didn't fulfill their part of the bargain, with training, support and councelling.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

            "But if you know that going in"

            And how can you, before starting on the job? Being told "you're going to be exposed to disturbing content" and then /actually/ being exposed are two very different things.

            It's fascinating, however, how the discussion was quickly misrepresented as "snowflakes should have known". The article is clear that the lawsuit is about Facebook failing to help its employees deal with the trauma, after telling other companies how to do.

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

        >you know, more or less, what you are letting yourself in for

        I don't think any of us have the slightest clue how an unremitting diet of inhumanity would affect us.

    2. anonanonanon

      Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

      Snowflakes is overused, especially in this case, wtf? Oh, you're affected by constant images of child abuse and gruesome violence? what a snowflake! says more about the people who use the term like that I think.

      There's a good chance they might not have been prepared for the level or constant stream of it, like, not being one to peruse that sort of thing, though I've seen some bad stuff, but even some gross websites out here don't allow certain things.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

      I wouldn't have expected so many beheadings, mostly get rich quick scams and unlicenced pharmaceuticals.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

      The complaint alleges that Facebook isn’t following its own guidelines on supporting workers who do this, so how could anyone be aware of that?

      Reading comprehension - try it

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. gbru2606

      Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

      That's not really how trauma works. I knew a London Tube driver who went back to work after the first suicide and again after the second. After the third, something snapped, and he couldn't go back. No one can predict when or if that is going to happen to anyone, no matter what your training nor disposition is.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its hate speech detection algorithms are less adept, catching only 38 per cent of violating content, with users alerting the site 62 per cent of the time.

    Is this perhaps because the users are issuing alerts for speech that is not really hate speech, but rather is either speech that they disagree with or is speech from people that they dislike?

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      I've seen several apparently reliable statements from left wing commentators that they have been temporarily banned due to false reports from right wing trolls.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You can find right wingers saying the same thing

        Although I still haven't figured out what the actually definitions of left wing and right wing

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          IT Angle

          Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

          Origin of left/right

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-right_political_spectrum

          Although in the USA 'left wing' is generally socialist or communist, whereas 'right wing' is conservative. However, more recently you can see a shift where 'left wing' seeks more government control on economics, and 'right wing' seeks more government control on social issues. Conservatives are typically right of center and don't seek more government control of ANYTHING, nor do they push a social agenda.

          Something like that. left-wing moderates are usually social libertarians, and right-wing moderates are typically conservative libertarians. but not always. there's a lot of 'grey' towards the middle.

          What is totally wrong in politics happens when you go too far to the right or left, in which case you end up at some form of FASCISM or COMMUNISM, where everyone (except those more equal than others) are FORCED into 'whatever'. It's the FORCING that shows when it's "gone wrong".

          You cannot equalize outcomes - those who 'feel' you can (those who think would not think this way) do NOT understand human nature. 'Feeling' you can means you are a far-left liberal. And you are WRONG. The only equalized outcomes will be EQUALLY MEDIOCRE [except for those 'more equal' than others - see Venezuela]

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

            You started off that second post quite accurately (I'm not sure how much was quoted from wiki, or how much was your own, but even if it was from wiki, you quoted it)

            However, again, you spoilt it with your last paragraph.

            By the way, using Venezuela as a left-wing example is as dumb as using North Korea or Nazi Germany as a typical right wing example.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

              @ Jamie Jones

              "By the way, using Venezuela as a left-wing example is as dumb as using North Korea or Nazi Germany as a typical right wing example."

              Venezuela is a left wing example. N.Korea is a left wing example (not sure where you got right wing from). Nazi Germany was to the right of Stalin yes, but as the Nationalist Socialists and running on the socialist platform it is convincingly argued that they were left too but with state direction of private industry instead of nationalising industry.

          2. jmch Silver badge

            Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

            "Conservatives are typically right of center and don't seek more government control of ANYTHING, nor do they push a social agenda."

            Hence why current US Republican mainstream is as far away from 'conservative' as you can get.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

            Sir. I have already told you. I repeat. Put down the capitals and step away from the keyboard.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

          "Left Wing" is associated with Democrats and "Right Wing" is associated with Republicans. Both have their own methods for putting your Wallet on a Diet.

        3. jmch Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

          "Although I still haven't figured out what the actually definitions of left wing and right wing"

          Left wing = progressive ie everything is crap so lets change it all. Everything bad in society is the fault of the imagined (white, male, rich) oppressor who must be deposed and ground to the dust. It's a given that everyone in theory is equal and should not get ideas above their station. This allows the actual rich and powerful who control everything to stay in control. Anyone objecting to the dogma is a subhuman traitor. Requires a strong central authority who will protect citizens from mostly imaginary threats. Central authority to be enforced by a network of surveillance, secret police / courts, facebook-generated fake public opinion and mind control based on fake news

          Right wing = conservative ie everything should stay the way it is, hence no-one allowed who speaks a different language / has a different skin colour. It's a given that everyone in theory can become rich through hard work. This allows the actual rich and powerful who control everything to blame the poor for not working hard enough to get rich. Anyone objecting to the dogma is a subhuman traitor. Requires a strong central authority who will protect citizens from mostly imaginary threats. Central authority to be enforced by a network of surveillance, secret police / courts, facebook-generated fake public opinion and mind control based on fake news

          *partly tongue-in-cheek but sadly far too close to reality*

          1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

            Left vs. right:

            In capitalism people exploit people, in communism it's the other way around.

            The one with the very old joke book in the pocket ------>

        4. Nolveys Silver badge

          Re: You can find right wingers saying the same thing

          Although I still haven't figured out what the actually definitions of left wing and right wing.

          Those are two groups that are pitted against each other in order to distract the public.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      "hate speech detection algorithms"

      so being pro-Trump, a Republican, a Conservative, or a non-Democrat non-liberal gets your content BANNED, right? because EVERYONE that disagrees with a Demo[n][c,r]at politician is a [insert pejorative ending in 'phobe'], right?

      Seriously, I think their definition of what 'hate speech' is can ONLY be flawed. And that goes TRIPLE if "an algorithm" is involved. I happen to hate what SJW's are doing on college campuses and in the media, and every ELSE for that matter. So is THAT hate speech? I also disagree with pretty much EVERYTHING Obama did and stood for. Is THAT hate speech? It seems that according to some, it is. And that's my point.

      I say let the 'hate groups' say what they want. At least that way you know where they are, what they're up to. When the 'shock factor' wears off, they'll just dwindle into a very small number of fringe kooks, unable to accomplish anything because nobody pays attention to them any more.

      but that's not "the agenda" to let them speak so that their folly will be known - instead they, meaning anyone NOT agreeing with 'the left', must be CONTROLLED, or SILENCED, or something similar. This is why censorship is bad. The censors get to JUDGE.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        so being pro-Trump, a Republican, a Conservative, or a non-Democrat non-liberal gets your content BANNED, right?

        Nope.

        because EVERYONE that disagrees with a Demo[n][c,r]at politician is a [insert pejorative ending in 'phobe'], right?

        Nope. Only the ones who are.

        I happen to hate what SJW's are doing on college campuses and in the media, and every ELSE for that matter.

        So do I. I hate it when the right do it as well.

        is THAT hate speech?

        Errrr. No. WTF?

        I also disagree with pretty much EVERYTHING Obama did and stood for. Is THAT hate speech?

        Errm, *EVERYTHING*? That probably makes you some impartial bigot - just like trump, who is revoking decissions not because they are bad, but because "obama did it"

        But hate speech? Again, no.

        It seems that according to some, it is. And that's my point.

        No, according to Fox news, stroppy Tomi Lahren, and whiney Lauren Southern it's according to some, but those poor persecuted little snowflakes make up their own bullshit constantly.

        I say let the 'hate groups' say what they want. At least that way you know where they are, what they're up to. When the 'shock factor' wears off, they'll just dwindle into a very small number of fringe kooks, unable to accomplish anything because nobody pays attention to them any more.

        but that's not "the agenda" to let them speak so that their folly will be known - instead they, meaning anyone NOT agreeing with 'the left', must be CONTROLLED, or SILENCED, or something similar. This is why censorship is bad. The censors get to JUDGE.

        You see, you started off this paragraph well, but then you fell back into your tired old paranoid "left persecutes the right" bullshit.

        I suppose you think mainstream media is biased to the left? Naaah, Fox is 100% trump propaganda network, and the other main channels are largely corporate democrat... in other words, the media are corporate whores, biased to the centre-right (democrats) and the loony-right (republicans).

        If you think any of them are "the left", you don't know what "the left" actually is.

      2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
        Trollface

        " When the 'shock factor' wears off, they'll just dwindle into a very small number of fringe kooks, unable to accomplish anything because nobody pays attention to them any more."

        I note, however, that you're still here.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I say let the 'hate groups' say what they want.

        You said it.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Put down the capitals and step away from the keyboard.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      "Is this perhaps because the users are issuing alerts for speech that is not really hate speech, but rather is either speech that they disagree with or is speech from people that they dislike?"

      No, it's because supposedly "intelligent" automatic filters actually suck balls at distinguishing hate speech from random banter, irony, tasteless jokes or indeed normal conversation.

  3. Kaltern

    From experience, the horrors that content moderators are exposed to is really quite horrific. The general Facebook user has no real understanding of the absolute depths of depravity and disturbing imagery some people post on a daily basis.

    Some do it purely because they find beheadings funny.

    Some do it to prove a point (PETA), which most often has the opposite effect

    Some do it as revenge against others who have 'wronged' them

    Whatever the reason, content moderators are given no real counselling, and certainly are not paid enough for the exposure of terror they see every day, so you don't have to.

    And, typically, the only real time you hear about moderators, is when they decide to censor something that some people think shouldn't be. Regardless if the rules, or interpretation of such, are broken; too many people forget that the use of social media is at the behest of the service provider, and not a right that everyone has - the number of people who complain when an image is taken down that, while breaking specific rules, is also considered a 'breach of free speech' or whatever nonsense they come out with, forget that it's entirely up to the platform if they wish to keep it up or not.

    And yes, while it is true that people more or less know what they're signing up for when they choose to moderate any social media UGC, it doesn't make it any less horrifying for them when they come across content which is just beyond normal human tolerances for either gore, suffering or deviance. So it is unsurprising that people feel they can sue such firms, if they feel their time and effort to, let's face it - make these companies money, is undervalued by not offering proper support and training for such unpleasant content.

    Generally speaking, the human race is a group of despicable beings, who delight in the pain and suffering of other people.

    1. Bibbit

      I do not know who downvoted you, although that kind of reinforces your point. The Internet. Yay.

      1. stiine Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        I downvoted him

        Because if you are hired to be a content moderator, you're typicaly only ever going to see (content that needs to be moderated) images that are worse than terrible. If you can't take it, resign, quit, go on strike, etc. do whatever you have to do to not do that job except for taping your mouse to the table, turning off your monitor, and clicking 'allow' for 8 hours/day.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: I downvoted him

          "If you can't take it, resign, quit, go on strike, etc."

          If you are absolutely fine watching harrowing images 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, week in week out, I'd be worried about your mental health to begin with.

          1. stiine Bronze badge
            Unhappy

            Re: I downvoted him

            She's a damn actress, so I'm also concerned who's going go show up in court. She's also into AI and veganism, which is a terrible combination for someone who's expected to watch cats, dogs, cows, horses, and humans being minced.

            I wonder if she didn't fail to get hired by facebook in one of her specialty fields, and picked this god-forsaken job just to get back at them for not hiring her directly.

        2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: I downvoted him

          On the other hand, you might expect that if you take on that sort of job, you'd at least get the support you needed to do it well. Which, apparently, is not something Facebook deems necessary.

          1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: I downvoted him

            On the other hand, you might expect that if you take on that sort of job, you'd at least get the support you needed to do it well. Which, apparently, is not something Facebook deems necessary.

            Burnout is pretty bad in any job but having to deal with full-on horror all day long it's probably going to be particularly bad when that hits.

            At the very least it seems Facebook have failed to put in place adequate systems, monitoring and relief which would avoid their employees reaching such a state.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I downvoted him

              "Burnout is pretty bad in any job but having to deal with full-on horror all day long it's probably going to be particularly bad when that hits."

              There's looking at pictures of bad stuff, and then there's dealing with bad stuff.

              A friend of mine was an EMT. She dealt with bad stuff, not just pictures but full on interaction.

              - we were watching a TV show where they depicted a brain, sans skull. Her comment: 'They really do look like that. I pulled one out of the back seat after a really bad car crash.

              - talking to a roughly 20 year old girl asking them to save her. She had been hit by a train, her lower body crushed and legs amputated. There was no way she was going to make it to the hospital.

              - another girl, about 18, thanking them for saving her after a failed suicide attempt overdosing on OTC pain killers, and how she had realized she wanted to live... they'd pumped her stomach, kept her breathing, and so on. My friend was glad she didn't have to tell her that her liver was pretty much done, and she would live a few more weeks at best.

              Real life can be rather more challenging than horrible horrible videos and images, for a fair number of professions. I know it was a relief for me to change jobs and say 'great, if I make a mistake in *this* job, no one is going to die'... and I wouldn't have had to actually be present when it happened in the previous job.

    2. Dr. Ellen
      Big Brother

      The 1%

      I've been a museum curator for several decades (now retired) and I estimate 90% of the visitors are very nice people. 9% are rather clumsy, and might break things. And 1% are pure brass reciprocating bastards who shouldn't have been allowed in the door. This is only a rough estimate, and I suspect social media has more of the reciprocating sort.

      That's why I don't go on Facebook or Twitter.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: The 1%

        "This is only a rough estimate, and I suspect social media has more of the reciprocating sort."

        It doesn't need to. If there are a billion users, 1% is 10 million absolute dickheads running around. And 10 million dickheads can do a lot of dickheady things.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The 1%

        "I've been a museum curator for several decades (now retired) and I estimate 90% of the visitors are very nice people. 9% are rather clumsy, and might break things. And 1% are pure brass reciprocating bastards who shouldn't have been allowed in the door. This is only a rough estimate, and I suspect social media has more of the reciprocating sort.

        That's why I don't go on Facebook or Twitter."

        Yet, the difference is, the museum people are in plain sight while on da internet, people (think they) are hidden.

        Therefore, I think 1% of the reciprocating bastards population is largely underestimated, here. More like 3%, sadly.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: The 1%

          No, in reality it'll be a lot less than 1%.

          It just looks more, because the really bad ones are something you notice, and stick in the memory.

          You see the same in other walks of life: think back to last time you got infuriated by the tiny-but-conspicuous minority of idiot [select category of road users] doing idiotic/terrifying things, and compare the inconspicuous thousands just going about their business.

    3. FuzzyTheBear

      I would like to point out that , at least in Quebec , jurors who have no choice in the matter , are exposed to , sometimes , unbelievable violence and prosecution tactics that leave them in pts and are given NO support whatsoever for their trouble. I know .. i was one in a gruesome murder. As far as companies go they should be required by law to provide counseling and support to the people they expose , even if that's the moderator choice to be there , and make sure they are well taken care of when they feel a need to. The job is insane because humans are insanely violent. I hope they get taken care of and that this judgment will favor them , favor support and create a precedent for society as a whole.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. onefang Silver badge

        "I would like to point out that , at least in Quebec , jurors who have no choice in the matter , are exposed to , sometimes , unbelievable violence and prosecution tactics that leave them in pts and are given NO support whatsoever for their trouble."

        Here in Australia, I recently had jury duty. From the very beginning various support services where offered for those sitting through nasty cases. I didn't get anything nasty, so no idea if the support services are any good.

      3. Nick Kew Silver badge

        @Fuzzy

        I was going to say that about juries. No choice. And for some of us (among whom reg-reading INTJs might well be prominent), there's the potential for long-term trauma over ones own guilt in reaching a verdict one suspects to be wrong, once the reality-distortion field created by the career Liars in court has worn off.

        As for gruesome everyday scenes, the career to worry about would be emergency services. Police, fire service, ambulance service/paramedics. Or indeed social services.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > at least in Quebec , jurors who have no choice in the matter ...

        Not entirely true. Any juror can just walk out, publicly declare they are going to find the defendant innocent no matter what the evidence, or do any number of things to remove themselves from proceedings.

        That might not be pain free but there is always choice. Living on your knees, dying on your feet, making a stand for what is right; is an inalienable right for everyone.

  4. DougS Silver badge

    This is like taking a job as a nursing assistant in a retirement home

    Then complaining you have to empty bedpans and other gross stuff. If there was a way to shield contractors from these horrors Facebook wouldn't need to pay people - they'd use whatever system they were using to block that stuff from the contractors and block it for everyone!

    1. Mongrel

      Re: This is like taking a job as a nursing assistant in a retirement home

      It's probably more between this and emergency services cleaning up after messy accidents & train suicides.

      You may go in understanding that this is what the job entails and assuming that you'll get correct training on how to cope with it, because it's not like many people go out of their way to watch this shit before applying for these jobs, but when your bum hits that seat and you're served up shift after shift of the worst the internet can dredge up..

      Yeah, you may not be cut out for this, it may also affect you in ways you didn't contemplate when you signed up for it. If FB didn't have adequate training or proper support during the job then it needs to be looked at

  5. Mayday Silver badge
    Alert

    I can see how she feels, kind of.

    I am friends with someone who works in a "law enforcement" field. I wont go into too much detail what the agency or their role is.

    One of their jobs is to view criminal content such as this and child abuse to assess so they can pursue, arrest and gather information for assessment and refer to the courts. They have told me it is rather harrowing to say the least. They manage semi-ok. As well as one can I suppose. They told me that at work after they view this material they are told to play Tetris because that helps activate other areas of the brain to get their mind off it (don't ask me, I'm not a psychologist). More aggressive "relief" such a first person shooter just makes them more angry and fuels the anxiety, so Tetris it is.

    I'm glad that people like my friend and Selena do this work so we don't have to deal with it and can maybe stop/reduce it occurring but they really need all the help and support they can get.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can see how she feels, kind of.

      Tetris is Repetitive Eye Movements therapy. Look it up I am told it is very useful.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cruel and unusual

    Consider the question: if prisoners were forced to do this instead of breaking rocks, would people agree that this constituted cruel and unusual punishment?

    Extreme circumstances require extreme consideration for those tackling the need. (and I'm also about thinking EMS, Fire, Police, A&E people)

    1. Kaltern

      Re: Cruel and unusual

      Unfortunately I would assume that the more hardened criminals of society would probably enjoy such gruesome imagery and thus would not be very objective in their decisions.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Cruel and unusual

        This brings up my old ideas of an extended web of trust. The general idea being that you trust specific people to have good / bad taste in specific areas. Alice trusts that Bob has good taste in comedies, but bad taste in wines. While Dave trusts Bobs taste in wines, but thinks Bob is an idiot when it comes to cars. So when Bob thinks a particular wine tastes great, Alice avoids it and Dave tries some. When Bob says the latest Adam Sandler movie is terrible, Alice avoids it and Dave seeks the opinions of others.

        So get the people that enjoy watching the beheadings to rate them. So those of us that really don't want to see beheadings know what to avoid, the stuff that gets good ratings from the beheading fans.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Except that you can't be sure a video is about a beheading before you've seen it, so you still have to check it out before pointing the "beheading fans" to it.

          I've solved the problem for me : no social media accounts.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Godwin's Law 2.0

    Anyone who uses "snowflake" as a slur.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Godwin's Law 2.0

      "Anyone who uses "snowflake" as a slur."

      What, you're going to make us invent an infinite regression of new words to describe snowflakes because as each one gets associated with the reality it represents, it becomes tainted by its meaning and has to be replaced with a new euphemism.

      Classic examples include sequences of terms used to indicate persons suffering the effects of a distinctly low IQ, or fat.

      The continuing invention of replacement terms in the face of politically correct censorship* of previous terms is clear proof of the need to express the meaning of the terms involved.

      * by vocabulary snowflakes

      1. onefang Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Godwin's Law 2.0

        "What, you're going to make us invent an infinite regression of new words to describe snowflakes"

        No need, each snowflake is uniquely different. We just need to invent a taxonomy for describing them individually.

        I'll get my coat, it's getting cold with all these snowflakes around.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do you like to take your Internet ...

    ... With or Without Censorship ?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    General moderator or moderator of potential gore?

    > A Facebook contractor hired to keep the social network free of

    > beheadings, rape, torture and the like has sued the tech giant

    > and its contracting firm, Pro Unlimited – for allegedly failing

    > to protect workers from the psychological trauma arising from

    > exposure to disturbing content.

    This implies she was specifically employed to vet nasties. The rest of the article implies she was employed as a general moderator.

    Which is it? There's a big difference in moderating libelous content, and having to watch rape videos

  10. Anne-Lise Pasch

    other wellness resources like relaxation areas at many of our larger facilities

    In our larger offices, there's a car park. It has a smoking shelter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: other wellness resources like relaxation areas at many of our larger facilities

      We have relaxation areas too; people wander up and down them shouting into mobile phones.

  11. Andre Carneiro

    Get rid of the lot

    Having long deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts (and recently Instagram), I am probably a bit biased.

    But I do wonder if the perceived benefits of social media actually outweigh the fact that we’re putting the sickest, most depraved, most horrifying aspects of human nature in a platform where they are now accessible to everyone.

    Or maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Get rid of the lot

      Social media reflect life. Get over it.

      Only without less curation than older media. At least, until the moderatrix[1] sees one's comment.

      [1] That's historic. I don't know who moderates here these days.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Social media reflect life

        Wrong. In real life you don't have Joe Nobody walk up to your face and start shouting at you. In real life there is nobody shagging in the street. There are no asswipes running around with paint cans covering everyone they see in paint.

        On the Internet, with its pseudo-anonymity, people with little self-control take advantage of what they think is their power to express the worst of themselves precisely because they cannot do that in their real, every day life.

        Except for the sociopaths. They make no difference between the Internet and the rest, they're always assholes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Social media reflect life @ Pacal Monett

          Actually you do have Joe Nobody walk up to your face and start shouting at you.

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6204847/Kavanaugh-controversy-Activists-shouting-believe-survivors-chase-Ted-Cruz-DC-restaurant.html

          I am by no means a fan of Ted Cruz but this is unacceptable. You can find stories of peoples MAGA hats being ripped off their head or cars rammed because the have a Trump sticker on their car.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Ted Cruz

            Of course, comparing any person's life to a public person like Ted Cruz is a completely valid thing to do.

            Do you feel the sarcasm ?

            And I'm sure I can find stories of MAGA hats and bonked Trump sticker cars, since people like you are spreading them.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Social media reflect life

          Wrong. In real life you don't have Joe Nobody walk up to your face and start shouting at you. In real life there is nobody shagging in the street. There are no asswipes running around with paint cans covering everyone they see in paint.

          You weren't at university in the 80's then.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a moderator myself, and even then I don't want to be exposed to nasty stuff. Ick.

    There's stuff that can play havoc with you, most especially images.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      So am I, and I don't even get paid for it. Though the nasty stuff I see is just like general spam.

      I'm sure I could cope with Facebook nasties (boredom aside): I'd have more problem arguing with people disputing my decisions (which tend towards freedom of speech over nannying busybodies).

      On the other hand, I'd seriously struggle to work as, say, a paramedic or a prison officer.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you can't stand the sight of blood don't become a surgeon, if you don't like violence don't become policeman, if you don't like sex then don't become a pornstar, if you have morals don't become a salesman.

    If you don't like the job you are paid for then get another one.

    How long did it take the plaintiff to realise they didn't like what they were doing, 5 minutes or 5 years ?

    If you do like causing misery and suffering to others both financially and physically then become a dentist.

  14. simonb_london

    Psychopaths

    I hear that about 2-3% of the population are psychopaths who are not affected by gruesome images. Seems like an ideal job for them.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Psychopaths

      Most of them are busy dealing with gruesome things in healthcare. Psychopaths don't grow on trees.

      1. l'ingrate

        Re: Psychopaths

        Psychopaths have little to no empathy, it's unlikely many would have spent years training, and hold down a long-term position helping people, just to be exposed to some gruesome images / smells etc, when they could more easily manifest those moments in their own time (though perhaps with increased risk to themselves), you could be right though, perhaps there's some working the odd abortion clinic, or championing homeopathy in oncology. I would however love to see the distribution of psychopaths throughout various industries to see which one has the biggest pull. I bet it's something in finance.

        If this job is literally eternal psychological torture, perhaps we could outsource it to the U.S. prison population instead? Facebook could literally buy whole penitentiaries and fit them out for moderating content. All those caught with between half a joint and a pound of weed can do it for a few cents a day, they waived their rights when they 'committed that crime'! The deterrent becomes not just doing hard time, but losing your sense of self, loss of faith in humanity, and a complete mental breakdown.

        I have more solutions, if you need them...

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Psychopaths

          Which Professions Have the Most Psychopaths? The Fewest?

          Sorry to muddy things with facts. To make it brief, Surgeon is 5th from the top and Nurse is 2nd from the bottom.

          The fact that CEO is in first place will surprise nobody.

        2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Psychopaths

          "I have more solutions, if you need them..."

          No thanks.

          Oh, and you should look up the term "Cruel and Unusual Punishment". Oh, and definition of the word "Torture". In a non-US dictionary.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The right end of the stick...

    ... is that call-centre quality staff are now being made to do work that the police used to train people for years for.

  16. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Dead bairns

    I was told to scan in and ICR some medical records while 3rd line at an imaging company that was going for an NHS contract.

    It was a regular part of the job for various potential clients but the subject matter was different from the normal catalogue companies/ police/ TV companies etc.

    It was a large file of X-Rays and medical records of young children who had all died. I couldn't just scan it in, I had to proof-read it all and correct the images.

    I couldn't understand why an NHS 'trust' allowed such personal data to be outsourced for a potential contractor, and the choice of material seemed deliberately sadistic/horrific. At the same time it made me realise how insulated from real life my job was, and how such visceral and brutal experience is commonplace and expected for lowly paid staff within the NHS.

    I was being paid less than doctors but a lot more than nurses so I never considered suing my employer. It was truly traumatic though, the worst week in my career.

  17. Neil Murphy

    Image used for article

    A woman's head covered in blood? Really?? Inappropriate given the extreme sensitivity of the subject.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Image used for article

      Err, that is a Zombie, completely different from Beheadings...

  18. Patrick R
    Coat

    I've done the math for you.

    10.000.000 items a week for 7500 workers, 5 days/week and 8h/day.

    That's 266 items a day, 33 items an hour, a bit less than two minutes/item.

    And sadly but obviously, there is an IT angle to this article.

  19. KLane

    However...

    She worked there for nine months, and then decided it was too much? Seems like a decision that you would make very shortly after starting. No one was making her do this job.....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Psychopaths

    Employ psychopaths instead. They're not bothered by this sort of thing and might actually enjoy it. A quick psychological screening survey during the interview process would be sufficient.

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