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Facebook raising pay for contract workers

Washington

FACEBOOK on Monday announced pay raises for thousands of contract workers, as well as support services for content moderators.The pay increases come in response to rising costs of living for contractors working in the US, Facebook said.

The company also noted that content reviewers - who mine the site for graphic posts like suicides and shootings - needed more support, higher wages and additional benefits "given the nature of their jobs". Facebook employs 15,000 contract moderators globally - more than any other tech company.

"Content review at our size can be challenging and we know we have more work to do," Facebook's Janelle Gale, vice president of human resources, and Arun Chandra, vice president of scaled operations, said in a statement. "We're committed to supporting our content reviewers in a way that puts their well-being first and we will continue to share steps forward on this important topic."

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Contractor wages are being raised to a minimum of US$20 per hour in the San Francisco Bay area, New York and Washington, DC, as well as US$18 per hour in Seattle. The changes will take effect in summer 2020, and Facebook is planning similar standards for contractors in other countries.

Content reviewers in the Bay Area, New York City and Washington will see an even higher pay boost, to at least US$22 per hour. Seattle reviewers will get US$20 per hour while workers in other US cities will get US$18 per hour.

"Their work is critical to keeping our community safe, and it's often difficult," Ms Gale andMr Chandra said.

Tech giants don't include moderators or contractors such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers in their official head count of full-time employees, which for Facebook stood at 37,700 worldwide at the end of March. By some estimates, contractors make up at least 40 per cent of the workforce at large Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google. WP