Coronavirus: Facebook moderators must work in the office for now

Some of the work must be done in the office due to safety, privacy and legal reasons

Some content moderators working at Facebook offices in Dublin are not being allowed to work remotely during the coronavirus crisis due to the sensitive nature of the work they are reviewing.

The social media giant has confirmed that while it is encouraging as many employees and contractors as possible to work from home, some are restricted from doing so currently.

Facebook has said some of the work that content reviewers are engaged in must be done from the office for safety, privacy and legal reasons. However, it said that it is exploring work from home options on a temporary basis for moderators engaged in work that falls outside of these categories and has already enabled it in some of its locations.

The news comes as some moderators working contracted to work for Facebook through Dublin-listed recruitment company CPL said requests to work remotely had not been met.


The Irish Times reported last week that Facebook had temporarily split a number of teams of subcontracted moderators from Accenture and CPL to other offices in the city to minimise the potential impact of Covid-19 on its operations.

Facebook employs thousands of moderators through agencies to review graphic material posted on its various platforms, with many of them based in Dublin.

“For those full-time employees and contract workers whose work cannot be done from home we have taken steps to ensure their health and safety by limiting social contact in the office and conducting regular deep cleaning,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Irish Times.

Twitter didn't confirm if content moderators were restricted from working from home. On Wednesday last, the company announced mandatory remote working for all employees after previously "strongly encouraging" people to work from home where possible.

Google, which owns YouTube, did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. However, the company is believed to be working extensively to ensure workers that have to be in the workplace are sufficiently spread out.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist