Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to its content moderators in the US to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to adequately address the mental and emotional well-bring of workers tasked with moderating disturbing content on the platform. As part of the settlement announced Tuesday, moderators will get a minimum of $1,000 each from Facebook, but those who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, like PTSD, will be eligible for additional compensation of up to $50,000.
The settlement covers 11,250 moderators in the US, and according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, as many as half of them may be eligible for extra compensation because of mental health issues associated with their content moderation work. The lawsuit was originally filed by one Selena Scola, who says she developed PTSD after working as a content moderator for Facebook for nine months.
In a press statement, Steve Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said his clients were thrilled with the settlement. According to him: “We are so pleased that Facebook worked with us to create an unprecedented program to help people performing work that was unimaginable even a few years ago. The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe”.
A spokesman for Facebook said that the settlement is part of ongoing changes within the company about how moderators work. “We are grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone. We’re committed to providing them additional support through this settlement and in the future”, he said.