A Facebook partner is spying on its own traumtized content moderators, giving us even more reasons to distrust Mark Zuckerberg’s company. | Source: AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski
Facebook released a video last year apologizing for its data misuse that likely swayed the 2016 election. It ends by saying “if this place does what it was built for, we all get a little closer.” That is the problem, Facebook. It’s time to back off.
The Intercept just released an exposé detailing how managers at the Austin, Texas outpost have been pressuring trauma counselors to release information from private therapy sessions. These therapy sessions are meant to counsel moderators hired to “scrub” the site from profane, violent, and disturbing images and text. Their traumatic job requirements have been well-documented.
Accenture, an outsourcing company, hired both the moderators and the counselors for Facebook. One of the counselors, also known as WeCare wellness coaches, refused to comply and eventually resigned.
A Whistleblowing Letter
The Intercept posted a letter from an internal message board that they obtained from anonymous Facebook employees:
“It has come to our attention that an Accenture [manager] pressured a WeCare licensed counselor to divulge the contents of their session with an Accenture employee. The counselor refused, stating confidentiality concerns, but the [manager] pressed on by stating that because this was not a clinical setting, confidentiality did not exist. The counselor again refused. This pressuring of a licensed counselor to divulge confidential information is at best a careless breach of trust into the Wellness program and, at worst, an ethics and possible legal violation.”
They go on to demand the removal of the manager in question. Since then, they claim that a different manager has started pressing counselors for information.