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Facebook is giving $1,000 to content moderators who said online trolls turned them into conspiracy theorists

Chris White 

Facebook agreed to pay out a $52 million settlement to thousands of current and former content moderators who said they are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after viewing upsetting content on the job, The Verge reported Tuesday.

Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000 and will be eligible for additional compensation if they are exhibiting other trauma due to the kind of content they regularly view, the report noted. The settlement applies to 11,250 moderators, some of whom told the Verge in 2019 that they became conspiracy theorists while moderating content people post online.

“We are so pleased that Facebook worked with us to create an unprecedented program to help people performing work that was unimaginable even a few years ago,” Steve Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a press statement addressing the settlement. “The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe.”

Facebook expressed support for the moderators in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

We are grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone. We’re committed to providing them additional support through this settlement and in the future,” company spokesman Drew Pusateri said.

One former employee named Selena Scola filed a lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant in September 2018, alleging that her job gave her PTSD — a claim her lawyers used to kickstart the class-action lawsuit. Several moderators at former Facebook contractor Cognizant told the Verge that conspiracy theories took strong root in the company’s Arizona office.

One person The Verge called Chloe claimed her colleagues began doubting the story behind the 2018 Parkland shooting as more conspiracy content was posted to Facebook and Instagram.

“People really started to believe these posts they were supposed to be moderating,” Chloe said. “They were saying, ‘Oh gosh, they weren’t really there. Look at this CNN video of David Hogg — he’s too old to be in school.’ People started Googling things instead of doing their jobs and looking into conspiracy theories about them.”

Moderating posts gave another moderator named Randy a form of PTSD and gave him a distorted view of reality, the Verge reported in 2019.

Randy said that he came to believe the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job after viewing videos making the case. He also claims conspiracy videos about the Las Vegas massacre were persuasive — he also now believes that multiple shooters were responsible for the attack.

“I’m fucked up, man,” Randy told The Verge, referring to his mental state after working at the Arizona center for roughly a year. “My mental health — it’s just so up and down. One day I can be really happy, and doing really good. The next day, I’m more or less of a zombie. It’s not that I’m depressed. I’m just stuck.”

Randy and Chloe did not use their real names in the Verge story because they signed non-disclosure agreements to prevent contractors from sharing Facebook users’ personal information.

Cognizant shut down its content moderation sites in 2020 after announcing in 2019 that the company was leaving that business.

Moderators are also eligible to receive up to $50,000 in damages if they submit evidence of other injuries they suffered during their time working for Facebook.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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  1. JackPowersIII May 13, 2020

    Mark Zuckerberg, grandson of deceased David Rockefeller, a self avowed Socialist who wanted communism to rule the world. Rockefellers were one of the original eight families owning The Federal Reserve to step out on the side of the world being ruled over by communism. MarkyZ has been a chip off the ol’ block especially after his marriage to a Chinese Citizen who happens to have connections to The Peoples Congress in that Communist Nation.

  2. BOB May 13, 2020

    Imagine the Billions upon Billions CNN would owe their viewers for the fake news they have put out over the years!

  3. BedrockBetty May 13, 2020

    Now I’ve heard it all! Seriously? Are you kidding me? I wonder if I’m eligible for compensation because I get upset every time I’m censored and blocked for having nothing more than a difference in opinion.
    Freaking Snowflakes!

  4. Douglas Rodrigues May 13, 2020

    Another scam to get free money.

  5. shirley May 14, 2020

    If that isn’t the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. A bunch of people that decided I’ll scream i have PTSD & get a lot of money. Then I won’t have to work anymore. That is a disgrace when our soldiers come home with it after witnessing horrible atrocities during war. Now these idiots are claiming it after reading things PLEASE. We all didn’t just fall off the turnip truck buddy.

  6. Jack D Hopkins May 14, 2020

    What these people are complaining about is actually that they found the truth and it is more than they can handle. This whole thing seems kind of fishy though as if Z man is paying them off to keep them quiet on the truths they found. Now Z man is using professional fact checkers that are all paid for by the corruption he claims he is stopping. Freedom of speech is being suppressed right before our eyes. Fact checkers are now the media gestapo.

  7. Huggy Bear May 14, 2020

    How about no more “moderating” content? Let the free flow of information occur. It’s only by looking at everything that a person can find truth, anyway.

  8. April May 14, 2020

    Wait, so these moderators were traumatized because they saw the truth???? Now they get money for being snowflakes even if they admitted that they believed the truth??? What an upside down world.

  9. Betty May 14, 2020

    They must be pretty weak emotionally to be damaged by comments that they can check out as true or false themselves.

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