1 st Legal Action in Irish High Court Against Facebook By Non-Irish Based Content Moderator

By January 18, 2022 No Comments

A Barcelona-based content moderator with Facebook has filed preliminary proceedings in the Irish High Court against the social media company for damages relating to alleged psychological injury.

Severe Psychological Issues

The case, the first of around 20 planned legal actions against Facebook by European citizens residing outside of Ireland, was launched by the employee who alleges that she suffers from severe psychological issues due to her role and the explicit content she is exposed to.

Previous reports have highlighted how many content moderators for the social media giant claim alleged psychological trauma due to the impact of their work monitoring graphic content, which includes violence and paedophilia. They further claim that the “wellness supports” provided by their employer are often inadequate, claims which have been refuted by the company.

“No one-to-one psychological support”

Many individuals initially take up the role due to the opportunity of working with such a big company. In one moderator’s legal papers, he was noted as saying that he “felt that getting a foothold in a prestigious company like Facebook would enhance his career prospects . . . However, there was no one-to-one psychological support. The company did not provide medical insurance. [The moderator] could not afford private counselling on his wages”.

The case represents the first against Facebook that has been taken by a content moderator who has never lived or worked in Ireland. However, as a European citizen, she has decided to take her case here due to Facebook’s European headquarters being based in Ireland.

In response to the alleged grievances, Facebook Ireland has said that all content reviewers are given “an in-depth, multi-week training programme on our community standards”, which includes access to psychological support to ensure their wellbeing.

“This includes 24/7 on-site support with trained practitioners, an on-call service, and access to private healthcare from the first day of employment. We also have technical solutions to limit their exposure to graphic material as much as possible,” Facebook Ireland said.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

Leave a Reply