Some employees didn’t even look up from their monitors when a 42-year-old man tasked with purging Facebook of prohibited content died suddenly of a heart attack at his desk, according to a Verge investigation into a key company tasked with moderating Facebook content. Managers of the Facebook contractor Cognizant then allegedly prohibited employees from discussing the death at work for fear it would hamper productivity, according to the report. Three Cognizant employees spoke to the online news site, breaking their 14-page non-disclosure agreements, painting a disparaging picture of what it is like to scour the social-networking site for hate speech, child pornography, and murder. The work was grim, often subjecting the monitors to images of self-harm and unthinkable cruelty against animals and children. But the working conditions—including sexual harassment, disgusting bathrooms with feces and menstrual blood smeared on the walls, and at least one occasion when a preacher prayed loudly speaking in tongues—were just as bad. Cognizant is the lowest performing moderation site in the U.S., enforcing Facebook policies with 98 percent accuracy, according to Vice. Cognizant did not give a comment for the story.
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