Facebook orders content moderators to come back to the office

Facebook is ordering its content moderators to come back to the office even as other employees are allowed to work from home well into next year.

The social network has told some of its 15,000 third-party contractors who are responsible for scrubbing the platform clean of child pornography and graphic violence that they must be back onsite beginning Monday morning, according to BuzzFeed News, leading many to worry about their health and safety.

The concerned moderators, who work at the contracting firm Accenture, have taken to posting about their worries on internal message boards.

“No written documentation, HR is hit-or-miss when it comes to addressing the numerous and varied concerns of the employees, and people are scared. Truly and understandably scared,” one contractor wrote, according to the report. “How can we possibly be ready to return to the office when this entire process has been so utterly and completely mishandled?”

In a statement to the site, Facebook said that it was bringing some moderators back because “some of the most sensitive content can’t be reviewed from home,” and added that it is only calling people in “as government guidance has permitted.”

The contractors, who don’t receive the same gold-plated health benefits as Facebook’s programmers, engineers and other workers, reportedly remain confused about what safety measures will be in place to keep them healthy, with the poster on Facebook’s internal message board calling the situation a “horror show.”

“I know that people are scared to speak up because they don’t want to risk their jobs,” they said. “It’s something we shouldn’t have to be afraid of, but it’s also something we all know could backfire onto you because people don’t play fair.”

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg told employees earlier this year that certain staff will be able to work from home on a full-time basis, and said that as much as half of the social-networking giant’s workforce could be remote within the next five to 10 years.

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