The Verge Investigates the Life of a Facebook Moderator

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    Here at HardOCP, I think the sheer volume of garbage that makes its way into Facebook posts before moderators take it down is common knowledge. Facebook itself has the daunting task of trying moderate all that content, and according to a recent writeup from The Verge, they subcontract some of those moderation duties out to a company called Cognizant. While Cognizant employees allegedly have to sign a strict NDA, The Verge managed to interview a few of them, and what they found isn't pretty. The moderation work itself takes a serious mental toll on Cognizant's employees, who don't enjoy the same generous benefits Facebook employees tend to get, but their descriptions also open a window into Facebook's internal moderation policies. For example, some posts that would seemingly violate Facebook's internal guidelines aren't arbitrarily categorized as a "protected characteristic" by Facebook, and therefore have to stay up, while other similar posts get taken down. Facebook reportedly updates their guidelines every day, and conflicting sources of information make it difficult for moderators to do their job consistently while trying to hit Facebook's target "accuracy" score. While a tour of the moderation facility didn't paint it in a particularly bad light, assuming any of these interviews are true, the work Facebook's moderators do is even harder than it appears to be. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

    The fourth source is perhaps the most problematic: Facebook’s own internal tools for distributing information. While official policy changes typically arrive every other Wednesday, incremental guidance about developing issues is distributed on a near-daily basis. Often, this guidance is posted to Workplace, the enterprise version of Facebook that the company introduced in 2016. Like Facebook itself, Workplace has an algorithmic News Feed that displays posts based on engagement. During a breaking news event, such as a mass shooting, managers will often post conflicting information about how to moderate individual pieces of content, which then appear out of chronological order on Workplace. Six current and former employees told me that they had made moderation mistakes based on seeing an outdated post at the top of their feed. At times, it feels as if Facebook’s own product is working against them. The irony is not lost on the moderators. "It happened all the time," says Diana, a former moderator. "It was horrible - one of the worst things I had to personally deal with, to do my job properly.” During times of national tragedy, such as the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, managers would tell moderators to remove a video - and then, in a separate post a few hours later, to leave it up. The moderators would make a decision based on whichever post Workplace served up. "It was such a big mess," Diana says. "We're supposed to be up to par with our decision making, and it was messing up our numbers."
     
  2. BoiseTech

    BoiseTech Limp Gawd

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    I hate the verge and refuse to support them by visiting their site.

    No, not because of their video, or because of their youtube etiquette.

    Because about a year ago they removed my SFW opinion post from an opinion article because it was "mean" The article was equally mean to a pop/rapper. It was at that point I lost all respect for them and called HardOCP my primary source of IT news.
     
  3. TangledThornz

    TangledThornz Gawd

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    Fuck Verge. No click from me.
     
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  4. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    The main site puts out a lot of... subpar articles, but occasionally they still post good writeups like this one.

    You can always visit the archive link if you don't want to give them traffic: https://web.archive.org/web/2019022...-interviews-trauma-working-conditions-arizona
     
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  5. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    That's okay, I clicked it twice for ya!
     
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  6. magda

    magda Gawd

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    Good reviews at the Verge (y)

    Sad.
    Facebook should just hire 4chan users as moderators :giggle:
     
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  7. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    I could not begin to imagine being the human end of a content filter on the site of choice for the world's radical groups.

    No thanks. Just. No.
     
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  8. purple_monster

    purple_monster Gawd

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    okay so facebook moderation was always handled by hourly wageslaves rather than global leftists bent on destroying all that man has created...

    this actually makes complete sense now.
     
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  9. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    wait, you mean they don't already?
     
  10. dreadcthulhu

    dreadcthulhu [H]Lite

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    Obviously not, if they experience so much trama looking at what the average /btard considers to be fun thread. Facebook HR should hire some of them; think of how many could start paying their parents rent for their basement room.
     
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  11. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    exactly. Not only that but save on the cost for mental health issues for the conpany. You can't cause somebody with a broken mind to go crazy anymore than you can light a burning piece of wood on fire.
     
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  12. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    Facebook needs to move beyond moderators to something more robust, like the control rods and water cooling they use in nuclear power plants. And then, if a thread goes out of control we can move everyone away from the topic for 2,000 years and cover the whole subject with cement.
     
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  13. Snowdensjacket

    Snowdensjacket Limp Gawd

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    Facebook makes plenty of billions Yet they brag about paying slightly above minimum wage. Facebook should step up and pay these poor saps a decent wage they can live off of.
     
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  14. cattix

    cattix n00b

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    ""It was such a big mess,"

    Ha! It IS a mess on every feed on every facebook account! Newsfeed keeps everchanging itself with no clearly defined parameters as to how it changes. You reload it, its all different. It is a mess of a software. Back in time like say 5 yrs ago facebook feeds were actually much more organized and trackable. They just worked, nowadays it is going to total and utter unusability really fast. Before, you could clearly see when what was added to the feed, and it stayed the same. Now, one reload and its all changed, previous version nowhere to be found. And that search feature as the call it, it totally erratic, displaying whatever has or hasnt to do with the actual search terms.
     
  15. Iratus

    Iratus [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah Facebooks infinite a/b testing is annoying. They need to calm it down, lower the sample size and be a bit more consistent.

    As for the story, I don’t envy that job. My wife works with a bunch of people that work ‘child protection’. There’s some messed up people out there. You only have to read the comments section of whichever media outlet holds opposing views to you to see that
     
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  16. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    Rather than investigate the work of a FB moderator, I'd like to see what a FB moderator does in their free time. What memberships for example? Veteran status? How many sit-ins, demonstrations, etc, participated in? Church affiliation, charity donation, cars/trucks owned. How often do they get to gun range? Do they just hunt deer, or do they also go for big game like elk, and what about fowl, etc? Any Africa/Alaska hunting experience? Have they ever voted for a democrat? Are they still cis-gendered? Is their hair the same color as it was last month? Would any tattoos prevent them from entering the priesthood? Has it been more than a week since they had coffee or tea with their pastor?

    ;)

    But you get my point: the personality/belief system of the moderators are probably an important indicator of why FB is considered such a joke and such a left-wing, totalitarian, anti-free speech, venue.
     
  17. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Without even seeing the article, is it anything like the "The Verge Builds a $2000 gaming PC"? :D
     
  18. pillagenburn

    pillagenburn Gawd

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    If the people that FB hires to screen this stuff are having that much trouble, maybe they need to look at hiring cops, detectives and/or ex-military instead? People that have probably been conditioned to seeing the kinds of disgusting crap that one would expect from a 24/7 bestgore marathon..... and would likely pay as good or better than where they were before.

    In places I've lived cops/detectives don't get paid shit and it's a shame.
     
  19. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    I was literally bitching to my wife the other day about my pay raise then found out the wage of cops in my area made less and I felt like a jerk sitting at my pc not risking a damn thing for anyone.
     
  20. pillagenburn

    pillagenburn Gawd

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    Yeah, they get paid less and have the possibility of being shot/shot at .... and they generally don't get paid shit - it's a shame.
     
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  21. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    irregardless of facebook..

    I would hate to be a moderator on just about any website nowadays.

    RARE is the site where people actually can chat with civility about topics.

    and trying to have intelligent conversations.... HAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  22. KrS

    KrS n00b

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    BUT! they get to pull over all those assholes you see on the road every day, and give them a ticket, with some attitude.

    That alone would be worth the pay cut :)
     
  23. luisxd

    luisxd n00b

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    That's why they make billions, cuz they stick to minnimum wage..