by 👩💻 Stephanie Boyd
What a mixed year it’s been for Facebook – while the social network remains a leading force in media of its kind, scandals surrounding user data it reportedly shared with third parties allegedly without consent dogged the brand for much of the first half of 2018. Beyond this, Mark Zuckerberg et al have strived to try and change things around, offering users more opportunities to control their privacy and to safeguard their data. For many people, it was too little, too late – and with further news emerging that the Facebook app may have been delivering user info beyond any knowledge from certain phones, it seems that 2018 really has been the year when the social network stumbled a little. It’s not a complete fall from grace, but it’s all done considerable damage to brand reputation.
Beyond this, however, it seems that the network is in further hot water – and it’s to do with a former employee. Selena Scola, a former employee of Facebook, worked with the firm as a content moderator from summer 2017 up to March this year – and, as a result of conditions she alleges she was working in, she is filing a class action lawsuit against the firm. Claiming that the role left her with ‘debilitating PTSD’, Scola states that she now continues to suffer from psychological trauma after having worked with the firm for almost a year.
▶ Former Content Moderator Sues Facebook After Developing 'Debilitating PTSD'
Part of Scola’s concerns derive from her reports that Facebook failed to support contractors with relevant support, counselling and training – when it comes to handling content uploaded to the network which may be considered deeply disturbing. Certainly, Facebook requires its content moderator team to weed out offensive and harmful content on a regular basis – but according to Scola’s lawsuit, it appears they may not have prepared or supported their staff accordingly, it is alleged.
“Ms Scola’s PTSD symptoms may be triggered when she touches a computer mouse, enters a cold building, watches violence on television, hears loud noises, or is startled,” the ex-employee’s complaint reads. “Her symptoms are triggered when she recalls or describes graphic imagery she was exposed to as a content moderator.”
It’s thought that the lawsuit will cater to anyone from California who worked for Facebook as content moderator staff for the past three years – which could cover a huge range of people. Let’s see how this unfolds.