There are nearly 1600 people in the Hyderabad office of Genpact who look at thousands of Facebook posts daily. These people will be now paid up to Rs 2,50,000 per annum or around Rs 20,000 per month. According to a report by Reuters, the salary of Genpact employees, who carry out moderation work for Facebook as part of the social-media company’s contractor workforce, has been increased from the earlier Rs 8,000 per month to around Rs 20,000 per month.
The Genpact employees review Facebook posts that are flagged off for possible violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions and then accordingly take action. In their work, these employees come across Facebook posts with content showing violence, nudity and politically sensitive material. In February, Reuters had reported that the Genpact employees doing moderation work for Facebook, one of the richest companies in the world headed by one of the richest persons, were not only grossly underpaid but that they also suffered psychologically while dealing with uncomfortable Facebook posts.
“We can confirm that Genpact did recently raise salaries for our team in India that supports Facebook as part of an annual review process that emphasizes paying a competitive market rate,” Genpact reportedly told Reuters.
Although salary of Indians who do moderation work for Facebook has been increased — more than doubled — it is still drastically low compared to how much moderators are paid in the US. Facebook had earlier noted that it was paying $22 (around Rs 1400) per hour to its moderators based in the US.
There is also some confusion about the increase in the salary for Genpact employees. Reuters also learnt that “the recent hikes applied only to new recruits and were not applicable to existing workers.”
Technology companies like Facebook have increased their reliance on firms like Cognizant and Genpact. While Facebook and other big tech companies pay handsomely to their core staff, mostly engineers product managers and staff based in Silicon Valley, they have outsourced labour-intensive and tricky work like content moderation. This sort of work requires a large workforce, something that tech companies do not want to build because of the cost. Instead, they save not only cost but also the responsibility that the comes with hiring full-time employees by outsourcing work like content moderation.
However, after the reports emerged of the grim office life that Facebook moderators were leading, the social media company promised to do better. In February, the company noted on its Newsroom Page, “In order to scale this (content moderation) quickly, we developed partnerships with highly reputable global partners like Accenture, Cognizant, Genpact and others with good standards for their employee care… We are committed to working with our partners to demand a high level of support for their employees; that’s our responsibility and we take it seriously.”
The salary hike for Genpact employees working laborious work for Facebook is likely one of the measures Facebook has asked its contractors to take. Genpact has told Reuters that the increase in the salary of people doing Facebook content moderation “reinforces our commitment to our employees and helps us attract and retain top talent.”