Big Tech or Big Brother: Facebook Monitors Employee Trauma Therapy

August 19th, 2019 4:04 PM

Facebook is allegedly trying to monitor its workers’ psychiatric trauma sessions. 

According to a letter written by whistleblowers within Accenture, a Facebook contractor, “This pressuring of a licensed counselor to divulge confidential information is at best a careless breach of trust into the Wellness program and, at worst, an ethics and possible legal violation.”

The letter described the daily lives of workers whose jobs come straight out of a nightmare, according to The Intercept. “They are required to view as many as 800 pieces of disturbing content in a single shift” the article stated, adding that these workers “routinely turn to on-site counselors to help cope with the procession of stomach-turning images, videos, and text.”

Texas-based Accenture oversees around 1,500 people who moderate the most gruesome content on Facebook. It also provided counsellors known in corporate lingo as “wellness coaches” who assist them with trauma after viewing this disturbing material.

These counseling sessions were supposedly protected by confidentiality laws, but whistleblowers allege that Accenture has pressured their “wellness coaches" to reveal their employees private confessions.” According to a manager who pushed back against this call for privacy, “confidentiality does not exist” for employees, because their workplace is not a “clinical setting.”

The source claimed most moderators who have to remove images of gore, sexual abuse, and other traumatizing content are often “poor, they’re felons, they’re people that don’t have any other options.” Another source also alleged that employees could find themselves denied mental health services unless “their productivity was high enough for that day.” 

Those employees whose work output was deemed sufficient now find that their sessions may be closely examined by their employers. 

Amazon, another Big Tech company with supposedly progressive leadership, has seen other workplace controversies. Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed a former Amazon warehouse worker who made statements ranging from “You can’t take bathroom breaks, you can’t take water breaks without it counting against your rate” to “You’re on camera 24/7 from the minute you walk in, to the minute you leave.”