This is what Facebook moderators in Germany have to deal with

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This is what Facebook moderators in Germany have to deal with

They aren’t supposed to talk to the press, or German authorities, but Berliners employed to delete content on Facebook have told the Süddeutsche Zeitung about their traumatizing work.


If you want an insight into life as a moderator for Facebook it will be worth buying the weekend edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Friday.

The SZ magazine has spoken to employees at an office in Berlin which is subcontracted to delete Facebook postings that breach the tech giant’s codes of conduct.

Not only do the people at the office barely earn over the minimum wage, they are barely given any psychological support, despite daily encounters with images of child abuse, rape or torture, the SZ reports.

“Since I saw child pornography videos, I may as well have become a nun. I can’t even handle the idea of sex any more. I haven’t been intimate with my partner for over a year. I start shaking the moment he touches me,” one employee said.

Others described being confronted by bestiality and torture, while one complained of being “thrown in at the deep end” without any support.

The report also details the seemingly arbitrary rules that employees at the subcontractor Arvato have to abide by.

As an example, calling migrants “dirty thieves” would be allowed, but calling them terrorists or murderers would not be. Similarly making dirt a substantive, as in “migrants are dirt”, would also fall foul of the rules.

Facebook has constantly come into conflict with German authorities over its comment moderation, with the justice ministry accusing the site of not dealing with comments which contravene German hate speech laws.

In November prosecutors in Munich confirmed they were conducting an investigation into Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other heads of the social media giant over potentially illegal posts on their website.

The probe was initiated after a Bavarian lawyer reported the company to police, accusing its management of allowing racism, Holocaust denial and violent threats to remain on the site without consequence.


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