Mar 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook gears up for long-term remote work

Photo: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg told reporters on Wednesday that Facebook plans to pay its contract workers indefinitely, even if they aren't able to carry on their normal duties. That comes as Facebook has directed most of its full-time and contract labor force to work from home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

What they're saying: "I don't think we see an end to that," CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Wednesday on giving full pay to its contracted content moderators whose work can't be done remotely.

Yes, but: Facebook relies heavily on contract workers for content moderation.

  • Some of the work that Facebook doesn't want contractors handling remotely, particularly in sensitive areas like suicidal ideations and child exploitation, will be shifted to full-time employees, Zuckerberg said.
  • The company will also rely more heavily on artificial intelligence to detect problematic content.

Separately, Zuckerberg said Facebook is working on a new coronavirus information center that will push reliable information to the top of users' Facebook feeds.

Meanwhile: Twitter also put out new rules on Wednesday aimed at cracking down on coronavirus misinformation. It too is relying more heavily on algorithms for content moderation and warns more rules violations in general could fall through the cracks as it puts its focus on the virus efforts.

  • "While we work to ensure our systems are consistent, they can sometimes lack the context that our teams bring, and this may result in us making mistakes," Twitter said, adding it won't permanently suspend any accounts based solely on determinations from its automated enforcement systems.

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Facebook will indefinitely pay contractors it has sent home

Photo: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

Facebook will pay its contract workers indefinitely, even if they aren't able to carry on their normal duties, as it directs most of its labor force to work from home to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

What they're saying: "I don't think we see an end to that," CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Wednesday on giving full pay to its contracted content moderators whose work can't be done remotely.

Ken Chenault to depart Facebook board of directors

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault will not run for re-election on Facebook's board of directors following disagreements with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over governance and political policies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Facebook's board of directors has seen significantly changes in a short period of time, with some departing who are not fully in agreement with Zuckerberg. Last month the board added Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, and a friend of Zuckerberg's.

Facebook to allow users to access data generated from engagement

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook said Monday it's updating its data privacy tools to include additional information about what content users interact with on Facebook and the machine learning data created from their engagement, which the company uses to infer what else they may like.

Why it matters: Facebook wants to ensure it's getting ahead of any privacy regulations, with GDPR now long in effect, and before the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect Jan. 1, starts being officially enforced on July 1.