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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.

  • "Hopefully at some point, when the public health response is sufficient, people can resume working in the office," Zuckerberg added. "But we don't view this as a time-bounded thing."

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.
  • Still, he acknowledged that Facebook expects productivity to take a hit while its offices are largely empty. He noted Facebook workers are not only telecommuting, but also may be dealing with kids at home because of school closures.

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

  • The feature will launch in the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the U.K. as soon as tomorrow, with the aim of eventually making it global.
  • The company is also making its Facebook-for-work tools, such as Workplace, free to governments and emergency services for the next 12 months.

Go deeper

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.

2 hours ago - Health

Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo illustration by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna announced that it plans to file with the FDA Monday for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, which the company said has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

Why it matters: Moderna will become the second company to file for a vaccine EUA after Pfizer did the same earlier this month, potentially paving the way for the U.S. to have two COVID-19 vaccines in distribution by the end of the year. The company said its vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate against severe COVID cases.

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.