Facebook is increasing its hourly pay for thousands of its US contract workers, with the base rate rising from $15 per hour to $18.
Slightly higher raises will be given for those in cities with higher costs of living, such as Seattle ($18 to $20), the Bay Area, New York City and Washington, DC ($20 to $22).
This change is expected to go into effect mid-2020, with the company considering similar raises around the world.
The raise comes, in part, from reporting on the long-term impact of contract moderator work for Facebook, which has shed light on the serious matters moderators have to deal with daily and that have been much hidden from the public view.
Many of the workers have seen such violent, horrific things that they are experiencing post-traumatic stress, with those same triggers being experienced day in and day out, over and over at their place of employment.
In a Facebook company blog post, the company noted that: “Today we’re committing to pay everyone who does contract work at Facebook in the US a wage that’s more reflective of local costs of living. And for those who review content on our site to make sure it follows our community standards, we’re going even further. We’re going to provide them a higher base wage, additional benefits, and more supportive programs given the nature of their jobs.”
The “nature of their jobs” that Facebook is referring to is a steady stream of violent and disturbing content that Facebook moderators have to sort through.
As reported by Verge in February, many moderators struggle with long-term mental issues resulting from their work, with some even taking on fringe beliefs picked up from sheer inundation over time at work.
In response, Facebook has upped counseling, mental health surveys, blurring graphic content before moderation, and now, pay.