Facebook to pay $80 million to content moderators who may suffer PTSD


Facebook has agreed to pay $US52 million ($80.43 million) to thousands of US workers who suffer the psychological consequences of reviewing posts depicting acts of suicide, homicide, child abuse, and other disturbing content, lawyers for the workers have said.

The class action settlement, in which Facebook did not admit or deny harms caused to these workers, is the first of its kind, the lawyers said, and applies to any US content moderator who has ever worked for a third-party company providing services to Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram; a group that includes thousands of people.

Facebook has agreed to pay its moderators at least $1000 each as part of the settlement.

Facebook has agreed to pay its moderators at least $1000 each as part of the settlement.Credit:AP

“I am incredibly proud of the plaintiffs in this case, who put themselves in jeopardy in coming forward,” said Steve Williams, a partner at the Joseph Saveri Law Firm in San Francisco, one of several firms involved in the case. “No one had ever seen a case like this, and the jobs that people do were in some ways beyond description.”

Each moderator will receive a minimum of $US1000, with extra compensation being made to those who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or associated conditions such as addiction or depression. Lawyers believe that may describe as many as half of the plaintiffs.