German Social Media Moderators Demand Action on ‘Exploitative’ Working Conditions

Social media moderators in Germany are appealing to lawmakers to address the “exploitative” working conditions they face while combating harmful content on platforms like Facebook and TikTok. These moderators, responsible for removing offensive material, are highlighting the burdensome targets and mental health challenges they encounter.

Cengiz Haksöz, a content moderator employed by TELUS International, is scheduled to testify before the Bundestag’s Digital Council. He is expected to share his experience of the mental and emotional toll resulting from screening distressing material.

TELUS International, a well-known provider of content moderation services, collaborates with Facebook and other social media companies.

Companies such as Meta’s Facebook and Bytedance’s TikTok rely on thousands of content moderators worldwide to prevent users from accessing harmful content, including child pornography and extreme violence.

Haksöz plans to present a petition, endorsed by over 300 content moderators in Germany, advocating for enhanced legal protections within the industry. These measures include improved access to mental health services, the prohibition of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and better remuneration and benefits.

Speaking exclusively to Reuters before his appearance, Haksöz expressed his disappointment with the lack of adequate mental health support provided by the company. He described the job as having serious consequences for the well-being of workers and criticized outsourcing firms for aiding tech giants in evading their responsibilities.

Meta has faced mounting scrutiny regarding the working conditions of content moderators safeguarding its platform. In 2020, the company settled a $52 million lawsuit filed by American content moderators who suffered long-term mental health issues.

The petition, reviewed by Reuters, emphasizes the indispensable role of content moderators in maintaining the safety of social media platforms. It asserts that social media cannot truly be considered safe until the working conditions within the moderation industry are both secure and equitable.

Both Meta and TELUS International declined to provide comments on the matter.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button