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Facebook Agrees To $52 Million Settlement; Will Pay Its Moderators Of Disturbing Content

Facebook has agreed to pay a settlement of $52m in a court case alleging the company failed to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content.

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Social media giant Facebook has agreed to pay a settlement of $52m in a court case alleging the company failed to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content on the platform.

'...the depraved mind of man can imagine'

According to global reports, as part of the settlement, which was announced on Tuesday, moderators will get a minimum of $1,000 each from Facebook with the potential for additional compensation of up to $50,000 if they have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, including PTSD.

Moderators, who are generally contracted by third-party firms, are constantly exposed to graphic content including child sexual abuse, beheadings, terrorism, animal cruelty, and “every other horror that the depraved mind of man can imagine”, Steve Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said.

In a statement, Facebook said it is “grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone. We’re committed to providing them additional support through this settlement and in the future.” Facebook will change a number of policies to better address mental health.

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People who have worked as moderators for Facebook in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida from 2015 until now will qualify for compensation under the settlement. According to the estimates, there are more than 11,000 people who have worked for Facebook in this period.

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Meanwhile, government requests for Facebook user data increased globally by 9.5% in the July-December 2019 period with the second-highest number of requests coming from India after the US. According to Facebook's latest transparency report, a total of 26,698 requests were made by India in the said period for 39,664 users or accounts.

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Some data was produced in 57% cases, it added. The highest number of requests came from the US with 51,121 requests for 82,321 users/accounts, and some data was produced in 88% of the cases, the report said. In the last six months of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 9.5% from 1,28,617 to 1,40,875 globally. The UK, Germany and France followed the US and India in the tally.

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(With PTI inputs)

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