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Facebook moderators reportedly complain about Covid risk in Dublin office

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Contractors who moderate content for Facebook in Dublin have reportedly complained about poor working conditions, which they fear could increase their chances of catching the coronavirus.

London (CNN Business)Contractors who moderate content for Facebook in Dublin have reportedly complained about poor working conditions, which they fear could increase their chances of catching the coronavirus.

The moderators, employed by professional services firm Covalen, claimed in online forums that they were not allowed to work from home and could not physically distance at the office with so many co-workers, according to UK newspaper The Sunday Times.

In a statement to CNN Business, Facebook said that since the pandemic struck it has enabled "an overwhelming majority" of its reviewers to work from home.

"But considering some of the most sensitive content can't be reviewed from home, we've begun allowing reviewers back into some of our sites as government guidance has permitted," a spokesperson said, adding that the company prioritizes the health and safety of employees.

If an employee reports Covid-19 symptoms or has been in close contact with an employee who has tested positive "they are informed, isolated onsite, provided with private transport home and advised to contact their GP," the company said in a statement.

This is not the first time that individuals whose jobs require them to view such content on Facebook have spoken out about grim working conditions.

A report last week from nonprofit Avaaz found that purveyors of misinformation have successfully evaded Facebook's human and automated content review systems, raising questions about the platform's readiness for a potential wave of misinformation ahead of the US presidential election.

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