Facebook contractor Genpact has reportedly more than doubled the minimum salaries of the new recruits in its Facebook content moderation teams to Rs 250,000 ($3,503) a year, according to Reuters. According to the report, earlier, the starting remuneration for graduate content moderators was Rs 100,000 ($1,401). Citing sources, the report added that the hikes were only meant for new recruits and was not applicable to existing employees.

This development comes after Reuters had reported in February that around 7 Genpact employees in India complained that they were underpaid and their work is both stressful and sometimes traumatic. At the time, Facebook had rejected the Hyderabad employees’ statements about lower payments.

Since February, Genpact has employed over 1,600 employees for its Facebook team in Hyderabad. The team reviews Facebook posts in English and other languages including Arabic, and some Afghan and Asian tribal dialects.

Increased pay for contract moderators in US

In May, it was reported that Facebook would increase the hourly pay rate for thousands of contract workers – including content moderators – across the United States. Base rate was to be increased from a minimum wage of $15 an hour to $18 an hour, with higher raises in American cities with higher costs of living; these hikes are coming by mid-2020. The company had said it would also explore developing “similar standards” for other countries. The changes came after increased press scrutiny of the well-being and wages of contract workers, particularly for content moderators, and particular for those in the US.

Some other changes introduced by Facebook for contracted content moderators in the US:

  • Individual and group counselors onsite during all hours of work (and not certain hours of each shift), along with “comprehensive health care benefits”.
  • Moderators can now choose to temporarily blur graphic images before reviewing them so they can control how they want to see disturbing content.
  • Facebook says its working on a tools developed based on feedback from psychologists and content reviewers.
  • The company is rolling out resiliency surveys, biannual audits, and compliance programs which will include unannounced onsite checks, and vendor partner self-reporting.
  • A whistleblower hotline where any contracted worker, including content reviewers can raise concerns directly to Facebook