Facebook to send all content reviewers home

Reviewers work still can’t be done from elsewhere due to sensitive material

Facebook is moving to lift remote working restrictions on staff who work with sensitive content.

The social media giant had last week said that some of its content moderators working at its Dublin office could not work remotely during the coronavirus crisis due to the sensitive nature of the material they’re reviewing.

However, on Tuesday, Facebook said it would work with its partners over the course of this week to send all contract workers who perform content review home until further notice. “We’ll ensure that all workers are paid during this time,” the company said.

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


Sensitive content

But their absence from Facebook’s offices poses a problem with regard to the review of sensitive content.

“With fewer people available for human review we’ll continue to prioritise imminent harm and increase our reliance on proactive detection in other areas to remove violating content,” the company said.

“We don’t expect this to impact people using our platform in any noticeable way. That said, there may be some limitations to this approach and we may see some longer response times and make more mistakes as a result.”

Facebook’s approach in the absence of its full content review workforce was to prioritise resources on the most critical areas such as imminent harm, it said.

“These are unprecedented times, but the safety and security of our platform will continue,” the company added.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business