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19 Aug, 2022 10:30

Facebook contractors ‘fired by algorithm’ – media

Dozens of moderators were reportedly told to reapply for another position with a third-party labor provider or look for a new job
Facebook contractors ‘fired by algorithm’ – media

Accenture, an Irish-US firm that provides contract workers for Facebook, has told some 60 people doing hourly jobs for the tech giant that their contracts are about to expire, Business Insider reported on Thursday. Some claimed they were told that an algorithm had picked them for termination.

The bad news about the looming layoffs was broken by Accenture during a Tuesday video meeting and a follow-up call the next day, the news outlet said. The workers were reportedly told that their current stints at Facebook – which rebranded as Meta last year – would end on September 2.

Representatives said people had to reapply for a job with Accenture with no guarantee they would be hired. The workers were promised pay through early October, according to the report.

One of the workers told Business Insider that the names of everyone on the calls were redacted. That included the Accenture representatives, who, the source claimed, did not introduce themselves. When asked how the workers slated for termination were picked, they were told “an algorithm” had helped choose people at random, the source said.

Accenture disputed the accounts. Richard Keil, a spokesperson for the company, said: “We don’t use algorithms to randomly select people.” He insisted the representatives were introduced during the call and said that “it would be inaccurate to report there are layoff actions in Austin.” The term may have a strict legal definition, Business Insider noted.

The workers earmarked to lose their jobs at Facebook provide services like content moderation and business-integrity services, the report said. Accenture has a $500 million-a-year contract with the social media giant.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned last month that the company was entering a period of austerity as its digital advertising business took a hit. Meta shares experienced a historic plunge in February on the back of a poor quarterly earnings report.