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

Republicans condemn Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

A number of prominent Republican lawmakers have condemned President Trump's refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's presidential election.

Driving the news: Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the House's #3 Republican, tweeted, "The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath."

10 mins ago - Technology

Pandemic spurs journalists to go it alone via email

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of high-profile journalists have recently announced they are leaving newsrooms to launch their own, independent brands, mostly via email newsletters.

Context: Many of those writers, working with new technology companies like Substack, TinyLetter, Lede or Ghost, have made the transition amid the pandemic.

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 31,926,175 — Total deaths: 977,357 — Total recoveries: 22,004,598Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m ET: 6,935,556 — Total deaths: 201,920 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus is surging again — Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.

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