Hugh Pickens writes “The Telegraph reports on one of the worst jobs in the digital world — moderating photos and posts on Facebook and other social networking sites flagged as unsuitable by other users. Last year Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, spent a few weeks training to screen illicit Facebook content through an outsourcing firm, for which he was paid $1 an hour. ‘It must be the worst salary paid by Facebook,’ says Derkaoui. ‘And the job itself was very upsetting – no one likes to see a human cut into pieces every day.’ Other moderators, mainly young, well-educated people working in Asia, Africa and Central America, have similar stories. ‘Paedophilia, necrophilia, beheadings, suicides, etc,’ says one. ‘I left [because] I value my sanity.’ Facebook’s one-page cheat sheet lays out exactly what must be confirmed and deleted by the team. Pictures of naked private parts, drugs (apart from marijuana) and sexual activity (apart from foreplay) are all banned. Once something is reported by a user, the moderator sitting at his computer in Morocco or Mexico has three options: delete it; ignore it; or escalate it, which refers it back to a Facebook employee in California who will, if necessary, report it to the authorities. Emma Barnett adds that although this invisible army of moderators receive basic training, they work from home, do not appear to undergo criminal checks, and have worrying access to users’ personal details. ‘Maybe disgruntled commuters, old schoolfriends and new mothers will think twice before sharing intimate information with their “friends” – only to find that two minutes later it’s being viewed by an under-vetted, unfulfilled person on a dollar an hour in an internet café in Marrakech.'”
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