Facebook to pay $52M to employees with PTSD from moderating rape, murder and suicide videos

The tech giant will compensate workers who were traumatized by filtering graphic images

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Facebook has agreed to pay a whopping $52 million settlement to thousands of its moderators who say they developed mental health issues while watching disturbing videos for the job.

The Verge reports that on Friday, a preliminary settlement was filed in San Mateo Superior Court, in which the social media site agreed to pay 11,250 current and former employees a minimum of $1,000 each.

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Employees with qualifying diagnoses and evidence that they suffered from being made to review posts depicting suicide, murder, child abuse, and other disturbing content while working at Facebook could claim up to $50,000.

Those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or any similar trauma will also be eligible to receive additional compensation from $1,500 to $6,000 to help offset the cost of their treatment.

In addition to these financial payouts, Mark Zuckerberg has also pledged to proactively safeguard its current moderators by providing more rigorous mental health support and counseling even if they are third-party contractors.


There will also be technical changes made to the site’s content moderation tools in order to mitigate how much graphic and potentially harmful imagery employees are expected to sort through.

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

In September 2018, former moderator Selena Scola sued Facebook, alleging that she’d developed PTSD as a direct result of viewing large quantities of heinous content. Her case became a class action suit and led to Friday’s win.

All the members of the lawsuit will now be given an opportunity to review the proposed settlement and request any necessary amendments before it receives its final approval from a judge by the end of the year.

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Once finalized, this settlement will cover moderators who worked for Facebook in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida any time between 2015 and now.

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