In Brief

Former content moderator sues Facebook

Selena Scola claims the company did little to prevent her developing PTSD

A former Facebook content moderator has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that it failed to protect its employees from severe mental trauma caused by the graphic images they see every day.

Selena Scola says she and other content moderators were exposed to “images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder”, according to the complaint.

The complaint also claims that while Facebook had drafted workplace safety standards to protect content moderators, the company routinely ignored those standards, forcing moderators to “work under conditions known to cause and exacerbate psychological trauma”.

CBS reports that Scola was “formally diagnosed with PTSD at an unspecified time”, and that she had worked at Facebook as a contractor for California company Pro Unlimited for nine months, starting last June.

Facebook's director of corporate communication, Bertie Thompson, acknowledged the lawsuit, saying: “We recognise that this work can often be difficult. That is why we take the support of our content moderators incredibly seriously.”

Facebook ”currently employs at least 7,500 content moderators” and the company has on-site counselling and mental health support, Time reports.

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