Facebook to Pay $52 Million to Moderators Who Developed PTSD

Moderators who developed mental health issues on the job will be eligible for up to $50,000 in compensation

Facebook has agreed to pay a $52 million settlement to thousands of current and former content moderators who developed post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues while on the job, according to The Verge on Tuesday.

The settlement, filed Friday in San Mateo Superior Court, will pay at least $1,000 to 11,250 moderators represented in the claim. Facebook will also pay additional compensation for moderators who can show they’ve been diagnosed with PTSD or other health problems, including addiction and depression. Moderators who submit evidence their mental health suffered while working for Facebook will be eligible for up to $50,000 in compensation, according to The Verge.

Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The settlement stems from a 2018 lawsuit from Selena Scola, a former moderator who claimed she developed PTSD while working for Facebook; Scola said her mental health deteriorated because her job required her to view graphic images, including of rape, murder and suicide. She developed PTSD after 9 months as a moderator, according to The Verge. Scola’s lawsuit ended up being the foundation for similar claims in four states.

Since 2016, a number of stories have focused on the mental burden Facebook’s contracted moderators grapple with. Last year, several moderators said they were shaken by constant exposure to racist, violent and sexually-explicit posts, with some smoking marijuana while on the clock to help “numb the pain.” 

Moving forward, Facebook will require the companies providing its moderators to screen applicants for “emotional resiliency,” according to TheVerge, and also post information on mental health support.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.