I found this festering wad not horribly long ago and I couldn’t leave this one well enough alone: The Real Story Behind Facebook Moderation and Your Petty Reports. Supposedly, this was written by a Facebook moderator but I’m not entirely sure.
Now, I’m going to warn you: there’s going to be strong language here. If that’s not your cup, you may not want to go any further. If that doesn’t bother you, go right ahead and keep reading.
We start off with a description of the job, which isn’t pretty. However, this isn’t exactly a secret. Yes, the moderators are going to see things that can be best described as the stuff of nightmares. Yes, the burnout rate is sky high. Yes, the pay will be low.
What I care about, what really, truly fucking offends me is the fact that after 5 hours of reading through your butthurt sob stories, I find the 7 year old girl who, too scared to tell an authority has figured out how to report a picture her uncle posted of her that was blatantly, obviously sexual, and begged for help. “He says he’s coming over today at 2. Can you please help me, I don’t know what to do.”
Uh, no. You do not care about this. Because this is a load of bullshit and you as a supposed mod at Facebook FUCKING KNOW THIS.
A seven year cannot have a Facebook account. The minimum age is thirteen. Yes, there are parents who will set one up with their children and enter in a false date but seven years old? Get fucking real here. Stop trying to appeal to our emotions because in this case, it isn’t working.
Oh and if you really did give even half a shit, you would take down videos that involve murder immediately, like the livestream of the Thai man murdering his 11 month old daughter and himself. Apparently, it ended up on Youtube but it was taken down within fifteen minutes of the company being notified. Pretty damned quick, no?
Facebook kept this thing up for 24 hours. Think about that and I mean really think about that. Someone, somewhere wasn’t doing their job. Some mod somewhere on Facebook got this thing in their inbox, shrugged and did nothing. Just like someone wasn’t doing their job when a video of a random murder was posted on Facebook. That was up for about three hours before it was removed. Things that have been labeled objectionable have remained on Facebook for hours afterwards. The users have let you know that this shouldn’t be on Facebook, yet you let this content remain untouched. What’s the excuse here?
Get over your narcissism. Your shabby reasons behind reporting shit are not just offensive but harmful in many cases. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a way to communicate instantly with people all over the world. We didn’t have a friend on the other side of the earth who cared enough to call the police for us when we were in trouble. And yet so many of you are bent on warping the capabilities of social networking into a crying game at a level that cannot even be remotely handled by 100K + people working 8 to 12 hours a day. Technology gave you an open stage in front of the world and some of you have used it in the old pigeon shitting on the chessboard fashion. You should be ashamed, but as one of your moderators, I can clearly see you are not.
What have I reported? Racist comments. Pictures of men holding rifles with the caption “Just can’t wait to meet the new Muzzy neighbors” or maybe “Hello there, Godless libtards”. Anti-trans pages. Homophobic pages. Comments calling for another person’s death. Alt-right pages. Outright spammers. Fake profiles that have only been set up to troll other users. Fake accounts and pages that have been repeatedly set up simply to spam other members. I have reported the same page, with the same cover photo and the same stock picture of a smiling blond teenage boy no less than THREE TIMES for spamming and yet, this user still gets access to Facebook. For each page removed, he creates another one. You name the rule breaking bullshit, I have probably reported it. Want to take a guess as to how many of those comments, pages and profiles are still up and running?
Nearly all of them. Out of twenty five reports, I might see two “we removed this” messages. That’s on a good day. Again, the supposed standards for Facebook are confusing and nebulous. Granted, I get that this is what the mods are forced to follow but something has to change here. There is a massive problem and it seems to be on Facebook’s end. Something needs to change or things will just get worse.
That’s not taking into account that Facebook users have posted the abuse they’ve suffered from other users, only to end up in Facebook jail because they somehow broke the rules. But not their abusers.
Who really needs to be ashamed here? Should it be the people reporting the content or the mods letting this stuff slide? It sounds like the users reporting the content are doing a better damned job of policing Facebook than the moderators. That’s really saying something here.
Who should be ashamed? Shouldn’t Facebook feel some shame for letting their Report Abuse button to morph into a tool of oppression? Shouldn’t Facebook feel embarrassed that anti-vaxxers silence pro-science advocates? Shouldn’t Facebook try to fix these damned algorithms so that this shit won’t happen and that actual rule-breaking horseshit can be removed? Shouldn’t Facebook feel spectacularly bad for giving spammers a pass here?
I will go ahead and say it: I do not apologize for what I have reported. I have reported pages and profiles because yes, they are filled with hate and other objectionable content. This isn’t for shits and giggles. I am doing my job. How about you do yours?
I get it: this is customer service and customers are assholes. I get that. I’ve worked at Walmart and I’ve had people throw fits that would make a two year old blush because they couldn’t purchase beer or cigarettes, or they had to leave five of the seven pre-paid phones they were going to buy behind. There will be those that will make your life a living hell, even though you know that you are doing the right thing.
But there are also those customers who do have legitimate concerns. Those are the ones you want to help. But you seem less than willing to do even that, placing the blame on everyone. Hell, when I was a cashier at Walmart, even I knew that not every human being was an ass. You need to realize the same. Trust me, it’ll make the process a lot easier.