Ex-Facebook moderator sues over exposure to child porn

A former Facebook content moderator is suing the social media site, claiming she developed post-traumatic stress disorder from staring at child porn and graphic violence all day long.

Selena Scola, who worked through a contractor at the company’s Silicon Valley HQ for nine months, filed a suit against both companies in California on Friday.

“Every day, Facebook users post millions of videos, images, and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide, and murder,” her suit reads.

“To maintain a sanitized platform, maximize its already vast profits, and cultivate its public image, Facebook relies on people like Ms. Scola — known as ‘content moderators’ — to view those posts and remove any that violate the corporation’s terms of use.”

Scola and her colleagues were required to view more than 10 million potentially objectionable posts every week, but the companies failed to protect them from the “psychological trauma” of doing so, the suit alleges.

Industry standards that Facebook helped write include limiting moderators’ exposure to child porn — or allowing them to opt out of seeing it altogether — and providing mandatory counseling, but Scola claims the company failed to put these policies into practice.

As a result, she now suffers “debilitating PTSD” that can be triggered simply by touching a computer mouse or entering a cold building, her suit alleges.

Scola wants the court to force Facebook to implement the guidelines, and to fund a monitoring program to diagnose and treat moderators who are suffer “psychological injuries” from the job.

Neither Facebook not contractor Pro Unlimited immediately returned a request for comment.

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