Facebook Pay $52M Settlement Due To Horrific Moderating Conditions

5 min readMay 18, 2020

As Facebook continues its legacy as one of the worst companies in America, a new report from The Washington Post details their decision to pay a $52M court settlement following allegations their failure to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content resulted in grave mental health conditions, leaving one worker dead with a stress-induced heart attack and several others with severe PTSD symptoms.

On Tuesday, Facebook agreed to grant their to current and former moderators a minimum of $1,000 plus additional compensation if diagnosed with a mental health disorder presumably caused by their work. This is understandable given they’re objected to hours of graphic content from the likes of child sexual abuse, beheadings, terrorism, animal cruelty, and “every other horror that the depraved mind of man can imagine”, according to Steve Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs speaking to The Guardian. He claims these additional damages could range upwards of $50,000 per person, eligible for the more than 11,250 workers across California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida since contractor teams were assembled in 2015.

The lawsuit was originally filed by former moderator Selena Scola and four fellow employees back in September 2018. Within a year's time, The Verge published two reports detailing the horrific conditions within their moderation facilities, being subjected to the harshest horrors of the world without so much as proper content procedures and healthcare plans secured as union labor rights. Scola was among those who developed PTSD after a nine-month grind in their California facility. Another report found moderators believed their views were being radicalized towards the right after becoming “addicted to extreme content.” Others like Keith Utley, an overnight shift moderator for Facebook’s Florida facility, worked himself to death as the result of a stress-related heart attack.

“The stress they put on him — it’s unworldly,” one of Utley’s managers said at the time. “I did a lot of coaching. I spent some time talking with him about things he was having issues seeing. And he was always worried about getting fired.” The careless conditions at Facebook certainly made such concerns perfectly valid. The reports detail severe micro-management down to the exact…


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