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Social Networking Giant Facebook Sued Over Mental Trauma by Former Employee

The social networking giant has maintained that all of its content reviewers have access to mental health resources

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay
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A former content moderator at Facebook has sued the company alleging that moderators who face mental trauma after reviewing distressing images on the platform are not being properly protected by the social networking giant.

“Ex-contractor Selena Scola has sued Facebook for allegedly ‘ignoring its duty’ to protect moderators who deal with mental trauma after seeing disturbing imagery.

“Rather than create a safe environment, it’s producing a ‘revolving door of contractors’ who are permanently scarred by what they’ve seen, Scola’s lawyer Korey Nelson said,” Engadget reported on Tuesday.

According to the lawsuit, moderators at the social media giant under contract are “bombarded” with thousands of videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The company has said it was “reviewing” the lawsuit and took moderator support “seriously” and pointed to its existing assistance, including “in house” psychological and wellness support.

“We are currently reviewing this claim. We recognise that this work can often be difficult. That is why we take the support of our content moderators incredibly seriously, starting with their training, the benefits they receive, and ensuring that every person reviewing Facebook content is offered psychological support and wellness resources,” Facebook was quoted as saying by Engadget.

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The social networking giant has maintained that all of its content reviewers have access to mental health resources, including trained professionals onsite for both individual and group counselling and that they receive full health care benefits, according to The Guardian. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)