Facebook announced that it will increase the hourly pay rate for contract workers and content moderators across the U.S. The social media network will raise base rate for contractors from $15 an hour to $18 an hour, marking an increase of $3 per hour. It will also slightly higher raises in cities with higher costs of living.
The changes will be implemented from the middle of next year, Facebook said, and it will certainly consider similar raises to other sites around the world. The move comes after reports from various news websites — long term impact on employees who are working as a content moderator for Facebook — some workers have faced symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Facebook wrote in a blog post released yesterday, “We are committing to pay contract workers in the U.S. a wage that’s more reflective of local costs of living. Also, content moderators from now on will follow our community standards, even we’ll provide them a higher base wage, additional benefits, and more supporting programs considering the nature of their jobs.”
Additionally, workers in larger metropolitan areas will get raises as well: from $18 to $20 an hour in Seattle and from $20 to $22 an hour in the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington, DC.
Some reports in February noted that Facebook contractors in Phoenix are suffering from long-term mental health issues due to the nature of their job – which requires them to review inappropriate and disturbing content. Several moderators told us they struggle with PTSD-like symptoms. And many others complained that the work had made them more likely to believe in the fringe conspiracy theories that they encountered each day at work.
Facebook said it would now require asks its vendors to provide on-site counseling during all hours of operation, rather than only during the day shift. We’ll also begin surveying contractors about their mental health twice a year “and use the results to develop our programs and practices for the betterment of their mental health.” From now “we’ll also ensure moderators now be able to blur graphic images by default before viewing them, so they are not caught unawares by any violating or disturbing content, Facebook said.
“Content review at Facebook is sometimes more than challenging and we know we have more work to do,” the company said. “We’re constantly taking efforts to support our content reviewers in a way that puts their well-being first.”