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Daily Facebook Usage Declines in US: Report

Features like Stories, influencer content and video are all contributing to more engagement and a slow but steady uptick in time spent on Instagram

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Average daily time spent on Facebook by American men declined by three minutes in 2018 and is set to fall by another minute next year to reach 37 minutes, said a new report.

Facebook’s move last year to discourage passive consumption of content, especially videos, has impacted engagement, said the report by research firm eMarketer.

This year, US adult Facebook users will spend an average of 38 minutes per day on the platform (on all devices), said the report.

“Facebook’s continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on downranking clickbait posts and videos in favour of those that create ‘time well spent,’ resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in a statement.

“Less time spent on Facebook translates into fewer chances for marketers to reach the network’s users,” Williamson said.

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FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Engagement on Snapchat, meanwhile, has essentially plateaued. Instead of growing, time spent among users fell slightly last year because of lingering fallout from the app’s failed redesign and competition from Instagram.

“We now expect time spent among Snapchat’s adult users to remain at 26 minutes per day through 2021. Our previous forecast projected 28 minutes per day in 2019,” eMarketer said.

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The picture is somewhat brighter at Instagram, where user time spent is still growing. Average daily time on the Facebook-owned platform will reach 27 minutes this year among US adult users, according to the forecast that added the time spent would increase by one minute every year through 2021.

“Features like Stories, influencer content and video are all contributing to more engagement and a slow but steady uptick in time spent on Instagram,” Williamson said. (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)