Josh Sklar, a content moderator who resigned in April 2021, speaks exclusively with NBC News’ Keir Simmons about the toll of reviewing a large amount of disturbing content YouTube Tips ⓘ
Josh Sklar, a former Accenture content moderator contractor for Facebook, describes his task of reviewing 100 pieces of content including hate speech, animal mutilation, child exploitation, and videos of people committing suicide. He says without moderators, Facebook would become a total cesspool.
“WE ARE PAID TO LOOK AT THE WORST OF HUMANITY EVERY DAY.”
— Joah Sklar
He said one day a glitch allowed animal mutilation images to remain available for display for months. He blames the problem with inadequate content moderation on an inefficient management structure at Facebook.
Former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang tells NBC News’ Keir Simmons that she found multiple attempts by foreign national governments to abuse the platform. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang stated in an NBC interview that Azerbaijan was the worst example of armies of trolls working for authoritarian governments. Zhang said she found problems with Azerbaijan on her own, not as a result of incoming reports from outside Facebook.
Zhang claims that Facebook is more concerned with income and publicity compared to policing content. A Facebook statement to NBC claimed the company fundamentally disagreed with Sophie Zhang’s assessment, claiming that they had already taken down more than 150 networks.
Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland is a Fortune Global 500 company multinational company that provides consulting and processing services. Accenture began as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
Content trouble reported by content moderators goes back to at least early 2019, when content moderation contractors from Accenture’s Austin, Texas location wrote an open letter to Facebook describing poor working conditions and a “Big Brother environment” that included restricted work breaks and strict non-disclosure agreements. A counselor in Accenture’s Austin office acknowledged that content moderators could develop posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of their work, which included evaluating videos and images containing graphic violence, hate speech, animal abuse, and child abuse. (see Washington Post).
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