New scandal forced Meta to extend the working hours of moderators from home

A message has been received that many of Meta’s employees will not have to return to the office for the next several months – they will work from home. Moreover, some of her employees are only now getting this opportunity. And if you cite the latest report from the authoritative BuzzFeed News, it became known that subcontractor Accenture canceled the requirement for hundreds of Facebook moderators to return to personal work in Mountain View, California, on January 24.

And if you are not in the know, the initial plan, presented to the moderators at the end of December, was supposed to force about 400 people to work in close proximity, while the new highly contagious variant of COVID-19, Omicron, still represents a large threat. The announcement, unsurprisingly, sparked public and private protests over the aforementioned decision, including “nearly a dozen” threats to resign, as reported by BuzzFeed.

The moderators said it was impossible to comply with Accenture’s social distancing guidelines given the cramped offices, closed stairwells and poor hygiene practices, and that the company did not provide exemptions for immunocompromised workers or vulnerable family members. As a result, an Accenture spokesperson confirmed that moderators working from home “should continue to do this” based on COVID-19 health data, and stated that the company worked “together” to make people work safely according to with the law. In the meantime, Meta itself said it will “continue to prioritize” the health and safety of all of its employees.

So now Meta employees don’t have to worry about going back to the office until June. It is important to note that these concerns are not entirely new. For example, back in 2020, moderators accused Meta of putting the lives of its employees at risk by offering some contractors to work from the office. Exceptions are not implied, even for workers whose family members are most vulnerable to COVID-19. At the time, Meta actively disputed some of the claims. This also happened shortly after the settlement of a $ 52 million dispute with moderators who said they developed PTSD and other mental health problems while viewing harmful content. However, this particular, most recent incident to date suggests that Meta has yet to shake off concerns about the well-being of its teams of moderators.

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