Facebook to Pay Moderators $52M for Psychological Damages

Some of them developed PTSD from viewing graphic, disturbing videos
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2020 6:54 PM CDT
Facebook to Pay Moderators $52M for Psychological Damages
Attorneys say the settlement could open the door to lawsuits against other social media firms.   (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to its content moderators, whose job has them viewing graphic and disturbing posts and videos on its platforms. In a 2018 lawsuit, third-party contractors for the company said that Facebook failed to properly protect them against severe psychological and other injuries that can result from repeated exposure to graphic material such as child sexual abuse, beheadings, terrorism, animal cruelty, and other disturbing images, the AP reports. Former moderator Selena Scola, who said she had developed post-traumatic stress disorder, broke a confidentiality agreement to file the lawsuit, reports the Washington Post.

The settlement grants US moderators who were part of the class action lawsuit $1,000 each. Those who have been diagnosed with conditions related to their work will be able to get medical treatment and damages of up to $50,000, according to the preliminary settlement filed in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Mateo. In a statement, Facebook said it is “grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone." Steve Williams, one of the attorneys involved in the case, says he is "incredibly proud of the plaintiffs in this case, who put themselves in jeopardy in coming forward."

(More Facebook stories.)

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