Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Former Facebook moderators worried for the upcoming US election

Published

on

When Viana Ferguson was a content moderator for Facebook, she came across a post that she immediately recognized as racist: a photo of a white family with a Black child that had a caption reading “a house is not a home without a pet.” But she had a hard time convincing her manager that the picture was not just an innocent photo of a family.

“She didn’t seem to have the same perspective, there was no reference I could use,” Ferguson said. She pointed out that there was no pet in the photo, but the manager also told her, “Well, there’s also no home in the picture.”

Ferguson said it was one of several examples of the lack of structure and support Facebook moderators face in their day-to-day jobs, a vast majority of which are performed for third-party consultancies. Ferguson spoke on a call organized by a group that calls themselves the Real Facebook Oversight Board, along with Color of Change, a progressive nonprofit that led the call for a Facebook advertiser boycott over the summer, and UK-based nonprofit technology justice organization Foxglove.

“In 2020 on the world’s largest social network, clickbait still rules lies and hate still travels on Facebook like a California wildfire,” said Cori Crider, co-founder of Foxglove. “Things are still so bad that in two days, Mark Zuckerberg will testify once again to the Senate about what Facebook is doing to address this problem, and protect American democracy.”

Crider said Facebook points to its massive workforce of content moderators as evidence it takes the issues seriously. “Content moderators are the firefighters on the front lines guarding our elections,” she said. “They’re so critical to Facebook’s work that Facebook has hauled them back into their offices during the pandemic and kept them in the offices.”

The challenges of working as a Facebook moderator both in the US and overseas have been well-documented, and consistent complaints over the course of many years about how viewing traumatic content for hours on end led to the company agreeing to pay $52 million to current and former US-based moderators to compensate them for mental health issues developed on the job.

Former moderator Alison Trebacz said on the call she remembered the day after the 2017 mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay casino, her work queue was full of videos of injured and dying shooting victims. But to mark a video as “disturbing,” moderators had to verify that a person was completely incapacitated, something that was nearly impossible to do in a timely way. “We end up as moderators and agents trying to make these big decisions on popular content without having full direction and guidance within five minutes of the event happening,” she said.

As part of her job, Trebacz said she and other moderators regularly had to view graphic content, and she felt mentally drained by the nature of the work. She was paid $15 an hour and said while she was there, from 2017 to 2018, there was little mental health support. The company used nondisclosure agreements, which limited moderators from being able to talk about their jobs with people outside the company, adding to the overall stress of the job. The moderators are independent contractors, and most don’t receive benefits or sick leave, noted Jade Ogunnaike of Color of Change.

“When companies like Facebook make these grand statements about Black Lives Matter, and that they care about equity and justice, it is in direct contrast to the way that these content moderators and contractors are treated,” Ogunnaike said.

The group wants to see Facebook make moderators full-time employees who would receive the same rights as other Facebook staff and provide adequate training and support. While the company relies on artificial intelligence to help root out violent and problematic content, that’s not sufficient to address more nuanced instances of racism like the one Ferguson mentioned.

But Trebacz pointed out that human moderators aren’t going away; rather, they’re becoming even more important. “If Facebook wants valuable feedback from the people doing the bulk of the work, they would benefit by bringing them in house.”

Ferguson said she saw a sharp uptick in hate speech on Facebook following the 2016 US presidential election. She said the platform was ill-equipped to handle newly emboldened people posting more and more hateful content. If a moderator removed a piece of content later found not to be against Facebook rules, they could be disciplined or even fired, she added.

Trebacz said she hoped Facebook would provide more real-time communication with moderators about content decisions and that more decisions will be made preemptively instead of reacting all the time. But she said she expects the next few weeks will be “outrageously difficult” for current content moderators.

“I think it’s going to be chaos,” she said. “Truly.”

Facebook did not immediately reply to a request for comment Monday. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the company is bracing for possible chaos around next week’s election with plans to implement internal tools it’s used in at-risk countries. The plans may include slowing the spread of posts as they begin to go viral, altering the News Feed algorithm to change what content users see, and changing the rules for what kind of content should be removed.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

Published

on

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

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

Advertisement

That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

Advertisement

Grab this offer while it’s still around!


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

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!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

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

Published

on

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.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending