Facebook is notorious for censoring individuals based on their political beliefs. But The Guardian newspaper has rushed to the defense of the company’s moderators, saying they are left with “psychological scars” and “pushed towards the far right by the amount of hate speech and fake news they read every day.”
One of Facebook’s contractors told The Guardian: “I think it’s a breach of human rights. You cannot ask someone to work fast, to work well and to see graphic content. The things that we saw are just not right.”
Another moderator expressed concerns over a shift in political views due to exposure to the censored material:
“Maybe because all this hate speech we have to face every day affects our political view somehow. So a normal person, a liberal person, maybe also a progressive person, can get more conservative, more concerned about issues like migrants for example.”
According to Facebook moderators, and The Guardian, becoming right wing is a violation of human rights.
There is legitimately graphic and concerning material on Facebook the employees describe, such as the sexual exploitation of minors in private conversations.
However The Guardian dedicates just as much if not more of the article to Facebook moderators shifting in their political views than them having to see genuinely graphic and inappropriate material.
The newspaper has essentially equated the psychological impact of viewing right wing material to that of viewing the sexual exploitation of minors.
What is The Guardian‘s real concern? Do they genuinely care about the human rights and mental health of the employees, or do they just fear the right?
Sofia Carbone is a reporter for RaheemKassam.com and tweets at @SiCarbone_