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Facebook moderators in Dublin reportedly forced to work in office despite lockdown

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Facebook moderators working as independent contractors in Dublin say they’re required to work in the office, despite a new nationwide lockdown across Ireland, The Guardian reports. The moderators, employed by contractor CPL, say they were told they’re considered essential workers and therefore not bound by Ireland’s Level 5 restrictions, which require people to work at home unless they’re “providing an essential purpose for which your physical presence is required.”

Earlier this week, Ireland became the biggest country to implement a strict lockdown to try to contain a new spike in coronavirus cases. As of Thursday, the country has had more than 54,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,871 deaths, Ireland’s Department of Health reported.

Facebook said in a statement its “partners have started to bring some content reviewers back to offices” in recent months. “Our focus has always been on how this content review can be done in a way that keeps our reviewers safe.” A moderator considered vulnerable can work from home, according to the statement, and the company is “working with our partners to ensure strict health and safety measures are in place and any confirmed cases of illness are disclosed.”

Facebook requires physical distancing and reduced capacity at its workplaces, as well as mandatory temperature checks and mask-wearing. It also says it conducts daily deep cleaning.

But according to The Guardian, workers said when they returned to offices in Ireland in July, they were told a confirmed COVID-19 case would result in a 72-hour shutdown of the office. The office has remained open, despite three new cases since the end of September.

In May, Facebook announced it was shifting its remote work policy to allow most of its 48,000 employees to work from home permanently. But Facebook has about 15,000 paid contractors employed by third-party companies, and the workers are ineligible for most of the benefits that corporate employees receive.

And it’s not the first time the company’s contractors have required moderators to work in-office during the pandemic. Earlier this month, The Verge reported that Facebook moderators in Austin, Texas employed by third-party contractor Accenture were being forced to return to the office there as well.

Facebook moderators can spend much of their time reviewing graphic videos, hate speech, and other disturbing material, and many have developed post-traumatic stress disorders. In May, Facebook settled with current and former moderators for $52 million in a ruling that found the job had a severe impact on the workers’ mental health.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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