- Cognizant, a professional services firm whose employees moderate Facebook content, will end its services next year.
- Employees tasked with moderating Facebook content reportedly worked under nightmarish conditions exposed by a series of investigations published by The Verge earlier this year.
- According to the investigations, content moderators were expected to sift through graphic violence, hate speech, and sexually explicit posts for $15 per hour, and many said they suffered psychologically.
- Cognizant is just one of many third-party contractors across the globe who moderate content for Facebook.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Cognizant, a firm that Facebook pays to moderate content on the social media platform, will cut its content moderation services next year, Facebook confirmed Thursday morning.
Cognizant also moderated content for other platforms including Google and Twitter. While the firm will still offer some content services, it will no longer flag inappropriate content for its clients going forward, according to the Verge.
A series of investigations published by The Verge and the Tampa Bay Times earlier this year uncovered the brutal working conditions that Cognizant employees faced at content moderation centers in Tampa and Phoenix. Employees were reportedly paid $15 per hour to sift through depictions of graphic sex and disturbing violence uploaded to Facebook, which many said was psychologically traumatic.
In addition, working conditions at the content moderation centers were reportedly dismal, with reports of rampant sexual harassment and stressful productivity requirements. According to The Verge's report, employees turned to doing drugs on the job just to cope with the stress.
Facebook confirmed that Cognizant is ending its contract in a statement to Business Insider. The social network said it will increase the number of content moderators working at a review site in Texas operated by Genpact, a different contractor.
"We respect Cognizant's decision to exit some of its content review services for social media platforms. Their content reviewers have been invaluable in keeping our platforms safe - and we'll work with our partners during this transition to ensure there's no impact on our ability to review content and keep people safe," Arun Chandra, Facebook's vice president of scaled operations, said in a statement.
Cognizant's withdrawal from moderating content will result in approximately 6,000 jobs being cut, according to Reuters.
A Cognizant spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to Business Insider's request for comment. In an email to employees obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, CEO Brian Humphries wrote that Cognizant "determined that this subset of work is not in line with the company's strategic vision."