Engadget: Dozens of Facebook contractors lost their jobs after an algorithm reportedly chose them ‘at random’

Engadget: Dozens of Facebook contractors lost their jobs after an algorithm reportedly chose them ‘at random’. “A firm contracted by Meta recently told dozens of its workers that their work for Facebook ‘was soon being taken away,’ according to a new report from Insider. The cuts affect about 60 employees of Accenture, a firm that oversees teams of Facebook moderators and other contractors.”

WIRED: A Lawsuit Against Meta Shows the Emptiness of Social Enterprises

WIRED: A Lawsuit Against Meta Shows the Emptiness of Social Enterprises. “EARLIER THIS YEAR, Meta and its largest content moderation partner in Africa, Sama, were accused of union busting, forced labor, and human trafficking. The lawsuit claims that ‘misleading job ads’ lured potential employees from across Africa who, once realizing the true nature of the work, often had no means to get home. And when content moderator Daniel Motaung attempted to organize his colleagues for better working conditions and pay, Sama fired him.”

The Verge: Google Contractors Say A Recruiting Company Has Been Systematically Skimming Their Pay

The Verge: Google Contractors Say A Recruiting Company Has Been Systematically Skimming Their Pay . “A group of Google contractors says they’ve been underpaid by the agency that recruited them, resulting in thousands of dollars in unpaid wages per affected worker. The earliest reports occurred as long ago as 2019, and workers say the payroll errors are happening so regularly that they believe it to be a kind of systematic wage theft.”

CNET: Google Reportedly Backs Down on Office Demands as Contractors Threaten to Strike

CNET: Google Reportedly Backs Down on Office Demands as Contractors Threaten to Strike. “Google Maps contractors were told they had to return to office on June 6, but received a 90-day extension three hours after telling management they were going on strike, according to a tweet Thursday by the Alphabet Workers Union. The 200-plus contractors, working for IT consulting company Cognizant Technology Solutions, say that the current return to office demands by Google are unsafe, according to the AWU.”

WIRED: Good Luck Not Accidentally Hiring a North Korean Scammer

WIRED: Good Luck Not Accidentally Hiring a North Korean Scammer . “Last week, the US Treasury, State Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly issued a 16-page alert warning businesses to guard against a particular scam in which North Korean IT workers apply for freelance contracts—often with wealthy North American, European, and East Asian firms—to generate revenue for their country. The workers pose as IT workers of other nationalities, pretending to be remote workers from South Korea, China, Japan, Eastern Europe, or the US. The alert notes that there are thousands of North Korean IT workers taking on such contracts.”

Yahoo Finance: This ‘rater’ gets paid $10 an hour to teach Google’s algorithm — and he’s not alone

Yahoo Finance: This ‘rater’ gets paid $10 an hour to teach Google’s algorithm — and he’s not alone. “Google Search may feel like magic, but the engine’s efficacy relies on hourly employees who work for a subcontractor. In the internet age, these are, quite literally, the people who help you find the right pair of pants.”

The Intercept: Google Ordered Russian Translators Not To Call War In Ukraine A War

The Intercept: Google Ordered Russian Translators Not To Call War In Ukraine A War. “IN EARLY MARCH, contractors working for Google to translate company text for the Russian market received an update from their client: Effective immediately, the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine could no longer be referred to as a war but rather only vaguely as ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ The internal email, obtained by The Intercept, was sent by management at a firm that translates corporate texts and app interfaces for Google and other clients.”

TIME: Facebook Content Moderators in Kenya Are Receiving a Pay Rise Following TIME Investigation

TIME: Facebook Content Moderators in Kenya Are Receiving a Pay Rise Following TIME Investigation . “Facebook content moderators based in Kenya will receive a salary increase of between 30% and 50%, in a move announced two weeks after a TIME investigation drew attention to low pay, poor working conditions and alleged union-busting by Sama, the outsourcing company that is their direct employer.”

Washington Post: How Facebook and Amazon Rely on an Invisible Workforce

Washington Post: How Facebook and Amazon Rely on an Invisible Workforce. “You don’t see them, but they’re there: hundreds of thousands of people sitting at keyboards for hours on end to keep online services humming along seamlessly…. The market for on-demand, digital tasks is estimated by the World Bank to be worth $25 billion, with Facebook’s Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube some of the biggest buyers. Over the years they have collected an array of global on-demand digital workers whom they have kept at arms length. Therein lies the problem.”

Bloomberg: Google Team That Keeps Services Online Rocked by Mental Health Crisis

Bloomberg: Google Team That Keeps Services Online Rocked by Mental Health Crisis. “In November, ‘team temperature’ surveys found dissatisfaction among Borg employees. Out of a top score of 10, Borg’s three sub-teams scored 5.07, 6.5 and 6.73—all short of the 7.5 rating Google considers satisfactory. In meetings with human-resources officials, some Borg employees described a toxic and overwhelming work environment, according to notes HR shared with the team that were reviewed by Bloomberg, but Google left the management team in place and promoted [Pierre] Aubert.”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook’s Spanish-Language Moderators Are Calling Their Work A “Nightmare”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook’s Spanish-Language Moderators Are Calling Their Work A “Nightmare”. For years, Facebook moderators employed by third-party contractors have sought to expose poor working conditions, and their dissent grew louder during the pandemic as many were forced to return to the office with little to no safety net. But Spanish-language moderators say they face even worse treatment than their English-focused colleagues.”

Business Insider: Google is supplying full-time staff with rapid COVID-19 tests while contractors must wait for slower mail-in results

Business Insider: Google is supplying full-time staff with rapid COVID-19 tests while contractors must wait for slower mail-in results. “Since December 2020, Google has offered full-time employees free rapid COVID-19 tests that can be administered at home, via Cue Health, and which deliver results in minutes. But its temporary contractors must report to Google’s offices in-person to do a PCR test, which is then mailed to healthtech firm BioIQ, and results are delivered in the following days.”

Seattle Times: Google temps fought loss of pandemic bonus and won

Seattle Times: Google temps fought loss of pandemic bonus and won. “Ned McNally, a temp worker at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, received notice in August that he would get a $200 weekly bonus until the end of the year for working a full week. It was a nod to the labor shortages ravaging businesses during the pandemic. But by October, McNally and about 250 other data center temps stopped receiving the payments even though they had met the weekly attendance threshold.”