Facebook moderators have to return to office despite the pandemic: report

Facebook moderators were reportedly pressured by their employer, Genpact, to return to office despite safety concerns over the ongoing coronavirus-induced pandemic. Genpact, a third-party contractor that handles Facebook moderation operations, reportedly asked employees to return to their Hyderabad offices as early as July. Genpact claimed that most parts of Facebook’s moderation services had to be running in the office due to privacy issues and other technical hurdles. The report also quoted some senior moderators from the company as saying that if they did not return to work, their jobs would be at risk.

According to a report From Rest of World, Genpact asked employees to return to the office in Hyderabad’s technology center, HITEC City. Genpact is one of the companies that Facebook is outsourcing to do its moderation operations around the world. The company employs nearly 1,600 Facebook moderators, according to the report.

Genpact told Rest of World that the in-office work was done voluntarily, as Facebook’s moderation services had to be done from the office during operation for data protection and technical reasons. “To make this manageable, safe and clear, employees have to sign a weekly form asking them to voluntarily agree,” said a Genpact spokesman.

The publication also spoke to four current and former Genpact employees, who said anonymously the moderators were asked back in July to “handle sensitive content, including posts about child exploitation, suicide and other matters going on that could lead to a real matter – world harm. “India had strict lockdown rules in place between March and May as a preventative measure against COVID-19. By July, the country had entered the second phase of unlocking, Unlocking 2.0, when certain restrictions were relaxed but lockdown measures continued to be imposed in the security zones and curfews were still in place for the night in most areas.

The report also quoted a senior moderator at Genpact as saying that staff had been informed that their jobs could be at risk if they choose not to return to office. “The operations team told them these were important jobs. There is a threatening factor behind this [it]. People are forced to go to work even if they are not happy, ”said the moderator.

Gadgets 360 asked Genpact for an answer. This report will be updated as soon as we hear something.

Back in August, Facebook allowed its employees (not third parties) to continue working from home until July 2021 due to the pandemic, and gave them $ 1,000 (around Rs.75,000) for home office needs. Other tech giants, including Google, have taken similar steps to keep employees safe.

A Facebook spokesperson told Gadgets 360, “Our focus in reopening an office is how to do it in a way that protects our auditors. To this end, we employ strict health and safety measures, ensure they are followed, and treat and disclose all confirmed cases of illness. “

We also reached out to Facebook and asked if other consulting firms like Accenture had asked their employees to come back to the office to handle Facebook moderations. We will update this section when we hear something.

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