Headline, September 14 2021/ ''' THE -'' TOXIC-POSTS ''- TAP '''

''' THE - '' TOXIC-POSTS '' 

- TAP '''

FLAGGING FACEBOOK'S TOXIC POSTS : The social network relies on a blue - chip consulting firm to scrub its content. The silent partner scrubbing toxic Facebook's posts.

REPORT : PLEASE SELECT A PROBLEM. If someone is in immediate danger, get help before reporting To Facebook. Nudity - Violence - Harassment - Suicide or Self - injury ....... So goes the moderation.

The moderator had to decide whether to delete a video of a dog skinned alive or just mark it as disturbing.

IN 2019 - JULIE SWEET - THE NEWLY APPOINTED chief executive of the global consulting firm Accenture, held a meeting with top managers. She had a question :

Should Accenture get out of some of the work it was doing for a leading client : Facebook?

For years tensions had mounted within Accenture over a certain task that it performed for the social network. In eight-hour shifts, thousands of its full-time employees and contractors were sorting through Facebook's most noxious posts, including images, videos and messages about suicides, beheadings and sexual acts, trying to prevent them from spreading online.

Some of those Accenture workers, who reviewed hundreds of Facebook posts in a shift, said they had started experiencing depression, anxiety and paranoia. In the United States, one worker had joined a class-action law lawsuit to protest the working conditions.

News coverage linked Accenture to the grisly work. So Ms. Sweet had ordered a review to discuss the growing ethical, legal and reputational risks.

At the meeting in Accenture's Washington office, she and Ellyn Shook, the head of human resources, voiced concerns about the psychological toll of the work for Facebook and the damage to the firm's reputation, attendees said.

Some executives who oversaw the Facebook account argued that the problems were manageable. They said the social network was too lucrative a client to lose.

The meeting ended with no resolution.

Facebook and Accenture have rarely talked about their arrangements or even acknowledged that they work with each other. But their secretive relationship lies at the heart of an effort by the world's largest social media company to distance itself from the most toxic part of its business.

For years, Facebook has been under scrutiny for the violent and hateful content that flows through its site. Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, has repeatedly pledged to clean up the platform.

He has promoted the use of artificial intelligence to weed out toxic posts and touted efforts to hire thousands of workers to remove the messages that the A.I. doesn't.

But behind the scenes Accenture quietly paid others to take on much of the responsibility. Since 2012, the company has hired at least 10 consulting and staffing firms globally to sift through its posts, along with a wider web of subcontractors, according to interviews and public records.

No company has been more crucial to that endeavour than Accenture. The Fortune 500 firm, better known for providing high-end tech, accounting and consulting services to multinational companies and governments, has become Facebook's single biggest partner in moderating content, according to an examination by The New York Times.


Much of Facebook's work with Accenture traces back to a nudity problem. In 2007, millions of users joined the social network every month - and many posted naked photos.

A settlement that Facebook reached that year with Andrew M. Cuomo, who was then New York's attorney general, required the company to take down pornographic posts flagged by users within 24 hours.

Facebook employees who policed content were soon overwhelmed by the volume of work, members of the team said. Sheryl Sandberg, the company's chief operating officer, and other executives pushed the team to find automated solutions for combing through the content, three of them said.

Facebook also began looking at outsourcing they said. Outsourcing was cheaper than hiring people and provided tax and regulatory benefits.


What started as a few dozen Accenture moderators grew rapidly.

By 2015, Accenture's office in the San Francisco Bay Area had set up a team, code named Honey Badger, just for Facebook needs, former employees said.

Accenture went from providing about 300 workers in 2015 to about 3,000 in 2016. They were a mix of full-time employees and contractors, depending on the location and task.

The firm soon parlayed its work with Facebook into moderation contracts with YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and others, executives said. [The digital content moderation industry is projected to reach $8.8 billion next year, according to Everest Group, roughly double the 2020 total.]

Facebook also gave Accenture contracts in areas like checking for fake or duplicate user accounts and monitoring celebrity and brand accounts to ensure they were not flooded with abuse.

After federal authorities discovered in 2016 that Russian operatives had used Facebook to spread divisive posts to American voters for the presidential election, the company again ramped up the number of moderators.

It said it would hire more than 3,000 people - on top of the 4,500 it already had - to police the platform.

''If we're going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly,'' Mr. Zuckerberg said in a 2017 post.


Within Accenture, workers began questioning the effects of viewing so many hateful posts.

Accenture hired mental health counselors to handle the fallout. Izabeza Dziugiel, a counsellor who worked in Accenture's Warsaw office, said she told managers in 2018 that they were hiring people ill prepared to sort through the content.

Her office handled posts from the Middle East, including gruesome images and videos of the Syrian war. ''They would just hire anybody,'' said Ms. Dziugiel, who previously treated soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. She left the firm in 2019.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Social Media and the State-of-the-World, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Adam Satariano and Mike Issac.

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Facebook, Social Media, and then Grandmothers, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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