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Facebook Invests $1 mn To Boost Computer Science Education

In a memo circulated to all Facebook employees early this month shortly before he left the company, Luckie, wrote that many black people felt they were marginalised and feared to speak up about their experience at the company, Xinhua news agency reported

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Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

A day after Facebook was criticised by a former employee for its “black people problem”, the social networking giant announced an investment of $1 million in CodePath.org to boost computer science education among underrepresented minorities and women.

CodePath.org is a US-based nonprofit that provides computer science education to female and minority students at universities around the country.

“Today, we’re excited to announce that Facebook has invested $1 Million in CodePath.org to help us expand from serving 400 students to over 1000 per semester in the next year,” Michael Ellison, Founder at CodePath.org, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“The funding will also allow us to create courses that target underrepresented minorities and women during their freshman year and expand our number of college partners,” she added.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The funding is aimed at broadening the scope of new students from underrepresented communities, decrease attrition as well as bridge the gap between traditional computer science curriculum and practical software engineering job responsibilities.

“The funding will also allow us to create courses that target underrepresented minorities and women during their freshman year and expand our number of college partners,” Ellison said, adding it will help cultivate a bigger pipeline of underrepresented software engineers.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Mark Luckie, former strategic partner manager for global influencers at Facebook, accused the tech gaint of having a “black people problem” as it fails to give enough support to its black employees or users.

In a memo circulated to all Facebook employees early this month shortly before he left the company, Luckie, wrote that many black people felt they were marginalised and feared to speak up about their experience at the company, Xinhua news agency reported. (IANS)

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Content Moderators on Facebook and YouTube Asked to Sign PTSD Forms

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign PTSD forms

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Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Pixabay

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to The Financial Times and The Verge, global professional services firm Accenture which provides content moderators for big tech firms have asked them to sign a form, explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. A similar document was also provided by Accenture to workers at a YouTube content moderation facility in Austin, Texas. Accenture said the wellbeing of workers was a “top priority”.

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Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. Pixabay

“We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do,” the company said in a statement.

“According to an employee who signed one of these acknowledgment forms, every moderator at the facility was emailed a link and asked to sign immediately,” the report said.

The Accenture form says workers might review “disturbing” videos and that moderating “such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both Facebook and Google said they did not review Accenture’s new form.

The Verge’s probe last month into Accenture’s Austin site described hundreds of low-paid immigrants toiling in, removing videos flagged for extreme violence and terrorist content.

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“The moment they quit Accenture or get fired, they lose access to all mental health services. One former moderator for Google said she was still experiencing symptoms of PTSD two years after leaving,” the report claimed.

Last year, The Verge published a report of Facebook moderators and one of them said he “sleeps with a gun by his side” after doing the job. (IANS)