Reports of Meta and its contractor, Sama of being sued by an ex content moderator are emergning, where the moderator has alleged Meta of poor mental health support and endorsing human trafficking.
Daniel Motaung, a content moderator who previously worked for Meta, said that he was paid approximately $2.20 an hour to review posts with extreme violence and abuse. The case was brought forward in Nairobi, and claims have been made that the job advertisement did not warn potential content moderators to review extremely violent posts, which can have grave effects on their mental health.
Meta did not comment directly on the lawsuit, while Sama has called out the allegations to be ‘inaccurate and disappointing’.
Previously, Meta has said of its content moderators that it takes the responsibility seriously, and requires its partners to ‘provide industry-leading pay, benefits and support’.
The social media giant facebook has employed thousands of people to moderate and review content posted on the site, which has been flagged as violent by users or AI systems. The moderators make sure that the content being posted on the site does not violate the community standards chalked out by the platform.
The ex-content moderator, Mr Motaung said that regularly viewing videos of beheadings, child abuse snd other extreme content can take you to places that you have never imagined. He also said that he felt as if his ‘life is a horror movie’. He often suffers from flashbacks of the violence he witnessed regularly, and felt as if he is the victim.
Mr Motaung has been diagnosed with PTSD, and says in an interview to the BBC that his co-workers also struggled with poor mental health as they had to review the violent content daily. He remembers that some of his colleagues would walk off to the production floor to cry after reviewing the graphic content.
The job applications for the position of content moderator posted by Sama, a contractor who handles the moderation work in East and South Africa, was tricky and misleading. Terms kike call center agents, content modeator’, was used to describe the role, without mentioning that the job requires viewing extreme content. The lawsuit also claims that Sama flew workers from other parts of Africa to Kenya, which was amount to human trafficking.
Sama retorted to the lawsuit by claiming that it provides all its workers with a competitive wage, benefits and adequate mental health support. While Meta said that it encourages content reviewers to come forward with complaints against its contractors and raise issues to maintain standards.