FEED issue 28 Web

8 NEWSFEED Updates & Upgrades


Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, IBC had held steady in its plans to pull off its annual September show at the RAI in Amsterdam. But the organisation has said despite its best efforts to “deliver a safe and successful environment in September, it is clear that a return to (a new) normal is unlikely to be achieved by then”. In a statement, IBC CEO Michael Crimp stressed that the earlier a decision was taken, the easier it would be for the industry to plan for the future. Crimp recognised the wide disappointment felt at the cancellation, but said pressing ahead would have compromised the show’s ‘spirit,’ due to social distancing, travel restrictions, masks, etc. IBC is in the process of exploring digital and online alternatives. IBC is one of the biggest TV tech trade shows in the world. Last year, it attracted more than 56,000 attendees from 150 countries, exhibiting more than 1700 technology suppliers.

Facebook has agreed to pay a settlement of $52m in a court case alleging the company failed to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content from the grave mental health impacts of the job. As part of the settlement, moderators will get a minimum of $1000 each from Facebook, with the potential for additional damage awards of up to $50,000 if they have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, including PTSD. Moderators, who are usually outsourced by the company, are constantly exposed to graphic content, including child pornography, beheadings, terrorism and animal cruelty. “The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe,” Steven Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “The FACEBOOK NOT FINE

fact that we got some real, meaningful relief going forward feels really good.” The lawsuit was filed by former moderator Selena Scola in a California state court in September 2018 and later joined by several other former employees. Scola developed PTSD after working at the job for nine months. Others said their views were pushed further right and some said they became desensitised to the content (read our December 2019 issue for more info on this).

As part of the settlement, Facebook will make improvements to the work environment, including requiring its vendors to provide coaching sessions with licensed mental health counsellors, enhancing review tools designed to make moderators’ work safer and other mental health support. Williams said: “When the case started, it was about changing policies. We are fortunate it has broadened; the perspective going forward is just as important as monetary relief.”

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