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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook agreed in a preliminary settlement on Friday to pay $52 million in damages to current and former content moderators for mental health issues that were developed on the job, The Verge reports.

Why it matters: The settlement is an acknowledgement from the social network that content review systems take a toll on workers' mental health. The preliminary settlement filed in San Mateo Superior Court also said Facebook would provide more counseling for workers.

The big picture: Content moderators spend hours reviewing content containing violence, sexual acts and other disturbing material that poses violations to the website's community standards.

Between the lines: Facebook is already shifting much of its content moderation to AI, which may mean less trauma for its human moderators. AI now accounts for nearly 89% of Facebook’s content removal, the company disclosed Tuesday.

  • The tech company has further offloaded moderation of particularly troubling content to AI and in-house employees after sending its contractors home with pay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • However, Facebook also said Tuesday it will start allowing some of its human reviewers back in the office on a gradual basis.

The settlement covers 11,250 moderators.

  • Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000.
  • Others could be eligible for additional compensation if they are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or related conditions.
  • Lawyers in the case believe that "as many as half of them may be eligible for extra pay related to mental health issues associated with their time working for Facebook, including depression and addiction," per The Verge.

Go deeper: Facebook, Poynter and ATTN: partner on digital literacy project

Go deeper

Michigan to pay Flint water crisis victims $600 million

Michigan's City of Flint Water Plant illuminated by moonlight. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Michigan has agreed to pay $600 million to settle civil lawsuits brought over the deadly Flint water crisis, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer confirmed on Thursday.

Why it matters: Flint's drinking water was contaminated with high levels of lead in 2014 after the city changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River — causing a public health crisis.

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.