Dozens of Facebook moderators sue social media giant for severe mental trauma after being exposed to violent images at work
- Dozens of moderators for the social media giant are suing for mental trauma
- Their roles were to spot and remove harrowing material from the website
- Some attempted suicide while others have post-traumatic stress disorder
Dozens of Facebook moderators are suing the social media giant for severe mental trauma after being exposed to violent and sexually disturbing images at work.
The 30 staffers, whose job was to spot and remove harrowing material on the site, claim they were not given adequate training to deal with the content or access to doctors or psychiatrists while working for Facebook.
Their lawyers revealed that several have attempted suicide, while others have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), similar to the torment some soldiers suffer after returning from battlefields.
Some of the current and former Facebook workers have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder
Others have developed severe depression, disturbing flashbacks and anger issues, while some have complained that changes in character have led to the breakdown of relationships.
The staff – a mix of former and current employees – have lodged their case at the High Court in Dublin, where Facebook has its European headquarters.
The moderators, who worked at Facebook’s Irish headquarters and at bases in Germany and Spain, were hired by recruitment agencies such as CPL Solutions, Accenture, Majorel and CCC. The agencies are also being sued.
The 30 staffers, whose job was to spot and remove harrowing material on the site, claim they were not given adequate training (stock image)
The court case is the biggest damages claim ever made against Facebook by staff in Europe, and the Silicon Valley giant could be forced to pay millions of pounds in damages if it loses the legal battle.
Last year, Facebook agreed to pay £37 million to former moderators in the US who brought a similar claim in a California court, blaming the horrific content for causing mental trauma.
A Facebook spokesman said: ‘We are committed to providing support for those that review content for Facebook as we recognise that reviewing certain types of content can sometimes be difficult.
‘Everyone who reviews content for Facebook goes through an in-depth, multi-week training programme on our Community Standards and has access to extensive psychological support to ensure their well being.
‘This includes 24/7 on-site support with trained practitioners, an on-call service, and access to private healthcare from the first day of employment. We are also employing technical solutions to limit their exposure to graphic material as much as possible. This is an important issue, and we are committed to getting this right.’