1.10.2020 12:24 AM

Culture

Report: Facebook moderators are being held to unrealistic standards of quality and time management

Employees are even asked to document the timing of their bathroom breaks.

Chesnot/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

As if Facebook’s moderators weren’t dealing with enough, apparently some are forced to track everything they do at work down to the second, according to a report by VICE News. That even means clocking in and out for bathroom breaks. This, coupled with unrealistic quality standards, is making moderating for Facebook more daunting than ever before.

This is just the latest in a long string of reports about the horrifying workplace cultures moderators are forced to work in. We can only hope lawsuits like this one will force meaningful change.

Ultraproductivity and a culture of fear — Facebook’s moderators are held to very high standards, and they work in fear of messing up, according to the report. Their every move is monitored while in the office, and they’re only allowed four or five mistakes each month. That amounts to a 2% failure rate.

Auditors — who are really just other moderators with above-average quality scores — review a sample of moderators’ decisions every month to determine whether or not the correct call was made. They’re even given the ability to deduct points from a moderator’s quality score based on these often arbitrary decisions.

And then there's ‘the bible’ — Moderators have to consult a constantly changing internal document, known as “the bible,” before making any content decisions. The rules in the document, which is officially called Facebook’s Implementation Standards, are generic guidelines that don’t match every possible situation. This often makes it difficult for moderators to know whether or not they’ve even come to the right decision.

They’re forced to suffer in silence — Moderators are made to sign nondisclosure agreements when they begin work at Facebook. Sometimes they’re asked to sign a second upon resignation. One employee told VICE News he refused to sign the exit NDA and was eventually escorted out “like a criminal” without being allowed to say goodbye to his colleagues. Moderators were also asked to remove any mention of Facebook from their LinkedIn profiles to hide from journalists.