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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "abuse"

There’s a Hell On Earth, and the People Enforcing Facebook’s Moderation Rules Live In It

Westlake Legal Group AP_18094667693740-620x290 There’s a Hell On Earth, and the People Enforcing Facebook’s Moderation Rules Live In It Technology tampa bay Social Media Moderators Front Page Stories Florida filth Featured Story facebook Cognizant children Animals Allow Media Exception abuse

The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, Thursday, March 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WARNING: Some of the things you’ll read below are disturbing. It will contain confessions by staff about hellish working conditions, and some of the graphic things they’ve seen while moderating the most trafficked social network on the planet.

The Verge recently released a very disturbing article that gives us an inside look into how the moderation company Facebook uses to make sure its site stays clean. Needless to say, the physical and psychological torment suffered by what is described by its employees as a sweatshop is the realm of nightmares.

The story begins by introducing you to Coast Guard veteran Keith Utley who “loved to help.” After getting out of the military he became a Facebook moderator at a company called Cognizant based out of Tampa Bay, Florida. It was there that he protected Facebook’s users from posts of hate speech, murders, child pornography.

Utley’s manager describes the ever-changing rules at Facebook that leave the 800 or so workers in a constant state of uncertainty. Utley, like the rest of his fellow employees, were constantly scared of being fired due to the fact that the moderation requirements change, and they miss things. The pressure was enormous.

And then one day, Utley slumped over at his desk and began sliding out of his chair. He was dying. Fellow employees tried to save him, and the ambulance that was called couldn’t find the building. By the time they got there, Utley was turning blue. By the time they got him to the hospital, Utley was dead.

As the commotion happened, many workers ignored the problem and kept moderating Facebook. What’s more, the following day, managers attempted to downplay the incident by telling employees that nothing had happened, or didn’t discuss it at all. They did that, according to one employee, because they didn’t want Utley’s death discouraging other workers from doing their jobs.

All that came crashing down when Utley’s father showed up according to Verge:

“Everyone at leadership was telling people he was fine — ‘oh, he’ll be okay,’” one co-worker recalled. “They wanted to play it down. I think they were worried about people quitting with the emotional impact it would have.”

But the illusion shattered later that day, when Utley’s father, Ralph, came to the site to gather his belongings. He walked into the building and, according to a co-worker I spoke to, said: “My son died here.”

This was just the icing on the cake to the kind of conditions Cognizant employees are subjected to, and many of them came forward to The Verge, who interviewed them for a video. The employees described horrible conditions they worked under, but not only that, the nightmarish things they were forced to see.

Workers, like the kind at Cognizant, are a line that stands between some of the most horrific things you can imagine. Animal abuse, child abuse, and more are uploaded to Facebook on a daily basis and we never see it due to the fact that moderators are there making sure we don’t. The trouble, according to some, is that they were never warned what they would be seeing. Many went in with the idea that they’d never see things they did.

As Shawn Spiegel told The Verge, it was “traumatic.”

I’ll warn you again. Some of the things in the video being discussed are absolutely awful, and those who are easily troubled shouldn’t watch it.

I won’t go into detail for those who wish to avoid them, but I can summarize here.

Former moderators tell stories of animal and child abuses that they were forced to watch. Speigal says, after composing himself from breaking down in tears, that he remembers the animal abuse videos most of all. At one point Speigel is asked about the first video he remembers seeing.

After describing the video, he was told that the video didn’t violate Facebook’s policies, at least at the time of his employment. It was allowed to remain up on the site. Sadly, the video kept reappearing in Spiegel’s inbox. He was forced to see and hear it over and over again.

“I just think about that,” Spiegel told The Verge while holding himself together. “And we’re not helping the animals either. Not even humans. We’re not even helping humans.”

Spiegel describes things he’s horrific and violent things people do to children while wiping away a tear.

“And it stays. It’s always there, and you always have to look at it,” said Spiegel. “You always see death every single day. You see pain and suffering. ”

The moderators who come forward tell that they see some of the cruelest things imaginable and that it stays with you throughout the day. Moods soured, diets became erratic, and nightmares became prevalent. Spiegel was later diagnosed with PTSD by a doctor and given medication just so he could sleep.

One veteran who said he was used to seeing violence against people went home and cried while holding his dog in his arms after he had been forced to watch a video of puppies being abused.

To add to the psychological horror being forced on Cognizant employees, the working conditions were also nightmarish. Reported cases of untreated bed bugs existing in the building on multiple occasions, unsanitary restrooms, and physical fights breaking out were common.

One worker, Melynda Johnson, described the state of the sole bathroom employees used according to Verge:

Johnson was particularly disturbed by the site’s sole bathroom, which she regularly found in a state of disrepair. (The company says it has janitors available every shift in Tampa.) In the stalls, signs posted in response to employee misbehavior proliferated. Do not use your feet to flush the toilet. Do not flush more than five toilet seat covers at one time. Do not put any substances, natural or unnatural, on the walls.

“And obviously the signs are there for a reason, because people are doing this,” said Johnson, who worked at the site until March. “Every bit of that building was absolutely disgusting. You’d go in the bathroom and there would be period blood and poop all over the place. It smelled horrendous all the time.”

There were five shifts, all constantly rotating. Some workers would come back to find their workstation beyond unsanitary. It was only cleaned if Facebook representatives were coming to visit:

The work day in Tampa is divided into five shifts, and desks are shared between employees. Contractors I spoke with said they would frequently come to work and find their workstation for the day in dire condition — encountering boogers, fingernails, and pubic hairs, among other items. The desks would be cleaned whenever Facebook made one of its regular planned visits to the site. At other times, employees told me, the office was filthy.

KC Hopkinson, an attorney who represents former and current Cognizant employees, told The Verge that some employees make open death threats to those in the building.

“Every time I get an email or a phone call from my clients, I worry that there’s been a shooting — and I know that’s their worry as well,” she said. “They go in there every morning asking, ‘what am I going to see today? And am I going to make it home tonight?’”

“I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to work there,” Hopkinson said. “It’s a terrible, terrible environment.”

This is just a taste of the hellish conditions that Cognizant employees go through while moderating the most popular social media site in the world. The Verge article goes on and on detaling things that would be considered human rights violations in a just world. It’s the kind of nightmare you only see in horror movies.

 

The post There’s a Hell On Earth, and the People Enforcing Facebook’s Moderation Rules Live In It appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_18094667693740-300x140 There’s a Hell On Earth, and the People Enforcing Facebook’s Moderation Rules Live In It Technology tampa bay Social Media Moderators Front Page Stories Florida filth Featured Story facebook Cognizant children Animals Allow Media Exception abuse   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Teen Vogue Is Now Promoting Prostitution to Its Young Female Readers

Westlake Legal Group 819ea0a3-15f6-4323-96f8-eec38438c490-620x317 Teen Vogue Is Now Promoting Prostitution to Its Young Female Readers Teen Vogue sexual harassment Sexual Assault Sex prostitution Politics murder Front Page Stories Featured Story Drugs crime Allow Media Exception abuse

I wouldn’t say society is a train wreck, but Teen Vogue is doing its level best to bring us there. Between promoting things like anal sex and abortion, it’s consistently proven itself to be the answer to the question “how close can you get to being Hustler magazine without showing any sex?”

In order to really solidify their place as one of the creepiest magazines in America, Teen Vogue is now promoting prostitution and “sex work” with the article “Why Sex Work Is Real Work” and tweeting it out with the line “Yes, sex work is real work!”

Within the article, the author attempts to promote the idea that prostitution should be cared about by using the same tactic the social justice advocates use to make anything a sacred cow…by making them into victims:

Still, continued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination. A systematic review and meta-analysis led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), for instance, has found that sex workers who have experienced “repressive policing” (including arrest, extortion, and violence from police) are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence.

The article even goes through the typical steps of talking about how this sex work falls under the umbrella of feminism, and that prostitutes suffer from police violence. The only positive thing it attributes to prostitution is the fact that legalized prostitution adds to the economy. Otherwise, it’s a woe-is-them article that doesn’t really justify why it’s shining a positive light on letting strangers pay to have sex with you to teen girls.

And I want to remind everyone that this is “Teen Vogue” publishing this article, a magazine that is aimed primarily at teens girls.

And when it comes to the problems of prostitution, teen girls and younger are the true victims. According to the National Institute 0f Justice, it’s primarily women who become prostitutes and enter the field at an early age as minors due to various reasons, including force, fraud, or, coercion.

While living this life they often go uneducated, become drug-addicted, and develop any true prospects in life. Abuse is rampant, and sadly so is murder. The risk to get a major sexually transmitted disease like HIV is also extremely high for prostitutes according to the CDC.

Oddly enough, Teen Vogue doesn’t mention any of this. In fact, if you were to read the article, you’d think being a prostitute is just an everyday thing that has no negative ramifications at all, except those who wish to think along moral lines. The article gives off the impression that sex workers wanting prostitution to be legalized, and that other countries do it, is evidence enough that it’s okay.

We know that because the author flat out wrote it.

“Evidence, not morality, should guide law reforms and sex work policy for full sex work decriminalization,” read the article.

Teen Vogue thinks that it’s doing something good by pushing prostitution on girls. That it’s somehow freeing and empowering them. What they’re actually doing is trying to lock girls into a life of abuse and danger that follows them around the rest of their lives.

Once again, Teen Vogue gives us another reason not to read them.

The post Teen Vogue Is Now Promoting Prostitution to Its Young Female Readers appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 819ea0a3-15f6-4323-96f8-eec38438c490-300x153 Teen Vogue Is Now Promoting Prostitution to Its Young Female Readers Teen Vogue sexual harassment Sexual Assault Sex prostitution Politics murder Front Page Stories Featured Story Drugs crime Allow Media Exception abuse   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ex-boyfriend pleads guilty in murder of 16-year-old Fairfax Co. girl

The teenager accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and leaving her body in a Fairfax County, Virginia, park pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder.

Nebiyu Ebrahim was 17 years old when he strangled 16-year-old Jholie Moussa to death in January 2018. Two weeks later, her body was found in a shallow grave in Woodlawn Park, less than a mile from her home and walking distance from where Ebrahim lived with his parents.

Early on, Ebrahim was considered a suspect and was arrested for having previously assaulted Moussa, who was a sophomore at Mount Vernon High School.

Initially, Fairfax County police believed Moussa may have been a runaway, because her twin sister told them the girl said she was running an errand and would be home soon, but later texted that she was going to a party in Norfolk. 

Police didn’t send an Amber Alert, which would have let the entire area know she was in danger.

Last fall, Moussa’s aunt, Veronica Eyenga, told WTOP that learning more about the girl’s killing after Ebrahim was charged didn’t make things any easier.

“We know they had a really, really horrible relationship, but you never envision in a thousand years that someone who says they love you would turn around and just kill you like this,” Eyenga said. “Unfortunately, this is a cycle that we see so many of our young girls falling in, but never in a million years had we imagine that it would hit so close to home.”

Eyenga founded an advocacy group, Not A Runaway Inc., that she said focuses on pushing for alerts to be sent in more missing children cases. It also sponsors teen domestic violence programs.

WTOP’s Teta Alim, Rick Massimo, John Dome, Dan Friedell, Amanda Iacone, Megan Cloherty and Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

Source

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17-year-old girl voluntarily euthanized in the Netherlands — due to emotional pain

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A few months ago Ed noted the astonishing fact that fully a quarter of all deaths in the Netherlands are now induced, whether by suicide, “palliative sedation” (in which a patient is placed into a coma and allowed to dehydrate to death), or euthanasia — with the latter accounting for more than 6,000 deaths in 2017 alone.

This case must be among the most horrendous.

“It’s finished. I have not really been alive for so long, I survive, and not even that… I will get straight to the point: within a maximum of 10 days I will die,” [Noa] Pothoven wrote in her native Dutch on Saturday. “After years of battling and fighting, I am drained. I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable.”…

Pothoven openly shared her long struggle dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anorexia on social media. The teenager also penned an award-winning autobiography titled Winning or Learning, which detailed her assault and rape at a young age and her work to try and overcome the psychological ramifications. She concealed the sexual abuse for many years out of a sense of shame and fear, according to reports.

In her book, she wrote that she was sexually assaulted at a school party when she was 11 years old, and was raped by two men just three years later when she was 14 years old.

Pothoven initially sought euthanasia in The Hague but was turned away due to her age — although children as young as 12 are eligible, provided a doctor concludes that their psychological anguish is unbearable. To be legally euthanized in the Netherlands she needed two doctors to say her death was justified plus ratification by a “post-mortem panel” — a real “death panel” — consisting of a doctor, judge, and ethics expert. A lot of people signed off on liquidating a traumatized 17-year-old, in other words. “It is very odd,” tweeted British writer Ben Sixsmith, “that the same people who believe in rehabilitative justice for hardened criminals can believe a child is so beyond repair that the state should consent to their death.” Indeed, courts in the Netherlands will refuse to extradite a murder suspect to a death-penalty jurisdiction without assurances that capital punishment won’t be sought. Their moral lodestar on executing people is consent, not desert.

Can someone in the grip of deepest depression properly “consent” in the first place? Best not to think too hard about such things.

I can’t find numbers on how many people are euthanized due to emotional rather than terminal physical suffering, but the Guardian noted another case of the former in a story about Dutch “mercy killings” in January:

In November 2016, Monique and Bert de Gooijer, a couple from Tilburg, became minor celebrities when a regional paper, the Brabants Dagblad, devoted an entire issue to the euthanasia of their son, an obese, darkly humorous, profoundly disturbed 38-year-old called Eelco…

Eelco was euthanised only after long thought and discussions with his family. He enjoyed a good laugh with the undertaker who had come to take his measurements for a super-size coffin. He was able to say farewell to everyone who loved him, and he died, as Monique and Bert assured me, at peace. There might be a word for this kind of suicide, the kind that is acceptable to all parties. Call it consensual.

“You try to make your child happy,” Monique said in her matter-of-fact way, “but Eelco wasn’t happy in life. He wanted to stop suffering, and death was the only way.” Eelco came of age just as euthanasia was being legalised. After years of being examined by psychiatrists who made multiple diagnoses and prescribed a variety of ineffective remedies, he began pestering the doctors of Tilburg to end his life.

Can a “profoundly disturbed” man consent to having his life ended? Either way, notes the Guardian, euthanasia is covered by local health insurance. Something for the Medicare For All wishlist, presumably.

The Guardian piece is lengthy but worth reading in full — particularly the end, which describes growing support within the government for what’s delicately described as a “completed life” pill for anyone over the age of 70. A suicide pill, in other words, which patients could take on their own to spare doctors from the emotional ordeal of having to act as killers rather than life-savers. This process isn’t getting harder, it’s getting easier. And it’s a cinch once the “completed life” pill is approved that pressure will build to expand eligible patients from senior citizens to anyone who feels their life has been “completed,” like Noa Pothoven. Exit question: How many years will it be before the majority of deaths in the Netherlands are induced?

The post 17-year-old girl voluntarily euthanized in the Netherlands — due to emotional pain appeared first on Hot Air.

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