The Mail on Sunday

Facebook is sued by staff who had to view murders

- By Abul Taher SECURITY CORRESPOND­ENT

DOZENS of Facebook moderators are suing the social media giant for severe mental trauma after being exposed to violent and sexually disturbing images at work.

The 30 staffers, whose job was to spot and remove harrowing material on the site, claim they were not given adequate training to deal with the content or access to doctors or psychiatri­sts while working for Facebook.

Their lawyers revealed that several have attempted suicide, while others have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), similar to the torment some soldiers suffer after returning from battlefiel­ds.

Others have developed severe depression, disturbing flashbacks and anger issues, while some have complained that changes in character have led to the breakdown of relationsh­ips.

The staff – a mix of former and current employees – have lodged their case at the High Court in Dublin, where Facebook has its European headquarte­rs.

The moderators, who worked at Facebook’s Irish headquarte­rs and at bases in Germany and Spain, were hired by recruitmen­t agencies such as CPL Solutions, Accenture, Majorel and CCC. The agencies are also being sued.

The court case is the biggest damages claim ever made against Facebook by staff in Europe, and the Silicon Valley giant could be forced to pay millions of pounds in damages if it loses the legal battle.

Last year, Facebook agreed to pay £37 million to former moderators in the US who brought a similar claim in a California court, blaming the horrific content for causing mental trauma.

Last night, Facebook refused to comment on the Dublin court case but a spokesman insisted it provided extensive support for staff.

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