In Richardson, Texas, at the office of Meta subcontractor Genpact, Spanish-language moderators told BuzzFeed News that, starting in April 2021, the office will be required to report that the Delta and Omicron mutations are causing an increase in Covid infections. Across the US. At the moment, moderators reviewing English-language content are allowed to cycle through the office on a three-month rotation, he said.
“Being in the office … is nothing short of a nightmare,” said one moderator.
BuzzFeed News spoke with three members of Genpact’s so-called Mexican marketing team, who described the disparate pattern of Spanish-language moderators. All of these individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because Genpact requires them to sign non-disclosure agreements and they feared for their jobs. They said that while their English-language counterparts could work from home while reporting to the office for the past nine months, Spanish-language moderators had unrealistic performance standards and were not compensated for working in two languages. Takes more time. Additionally, they face the pressure of maintaining a Facebook marketplace that has long been criticized as under-moderated amid the threat of active COVID cases.
Genpact spokeswoman Danielle D’Angelo declined to comment on all the specific claims made by the Spanish-language moderators, including the claim that its Mexican marketing team was not allowed to work from home while other teams rotated.
“We want to emphasize that employee safety is our top priority and will remain so throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” D’Angelo said. “Any return to office decisions made based on client needs are made with good safety and health practices in place and in compliance with local regulations. At all of our workplace locations, including our Richardson, TX office, we follow high quality safety standards, which often include antigen testing.
On Thursday, managers at Genpact’s Richardson site reported to company agents that they had canceled plans to reopen at 50% capacity on Jan. 31 because of the Omicron transformation. Spanish-language moderators said the change would not affect them and they would continue to report to the office. Genpact declined to comment on when it plans to reopen and in what capacity.
In late June, Genpact leadership sent an email to one of the English-language moderation groups allowed to rotate out of the office, thanking them for their “continued dedication and responsiveness.” He will return to work from home on July 26, the email said.
Spanish-language moderators told BuzzFeed News that they had received no such email. Days after the English-language moderators were told they could return home, “[managers] We were told that we were in a special queue and that our work could not be done outside the office,” said one moderator, adding that the Mexican market involves moderating a flood of particularly graphic content. Facebook declined to comment on complaints from its Spanish-language moderators, referring BuzzFeed News to Genpact — a tactic it has repeatedly taken when addressing the concerns of people moderating Facebook content.
After Richardson returns to the office, the employees increasingly fear for their safety. Moderators told BuzzFeed News that 30 cases of COVID were reported to staff by management in December and no updates have been made since. Meanwhile, workers say their colleagues continue to test positive for COVID, citing two cases on the same floor last week. Genpact declined to comment on the number of Covid cases in its office or how often it reports these cases to staff.
On December 22, a dozen Spanish-language moderators walked out of the office en masse after learning through the grapevine that a sick colleague may have exposed them to the virus. Since the workers claim that Genpact does not currently offer paid sick leave to its moderators, they used the PTO to self-isolate. Genpact declined to comment on whether its moderators were given paid sick leave.
Although named for the Mexican market, moderators said the team will examine Facebook and Instagram content posted in Spanish by most users in Latin America. As of 2018, there are 84 million Facebook users in Mexico and tens of millions more using WhatsApp. In Latino and Spanish-speaking communities, Facebook is a powerful vector of misinformation, shaping the public’s perception of topics like COVID, electoral politics, and Black Lives Matter. But researchers who study misinformation told the Guardian that harmful content posted in Spanish was removed less often than English-language posts.