Meta and TikTok social media moderators want to set up a union in Germany. Reason for low wages and lack of support in moderating offensive and violent content.
Countless amounts of content appear on social media every day. Only Twitter users write per second about 6,000 tweets. In addition, users load around 500 hours of video material up on YouTube – per hour! So it’s no wonder that Meta, Twitter, TikTok and Co. use huge teams to moderate this content.
But the job is not easy and often involves enormous psychological stress. Because the moderators see themselves exposed to content that glorifies violence and is offensive. Therefore, employees of TikTok and Meta have in Germany teamed upto draw more attention to the topic.
Meta and TikTok moderators plan union in Germany
However, there is no trade union. Those affected want to organize themselves in unions in the future. The group is also demanding better pay and easier access to psychological support. Because the job is often underestimated, although according to the moderators it is a separate career path.
The social media employees of Meta and TikTok recently met in Berlin for their merger. The first thing to do was to define the extent to which concrete goals and demands could be formulated. Because the need for moderation on the Internet seems to be growing, since the legislator is increasingly making companies responsible.
Social Media Union: People still matter
As of today, algorithms do the work for employees. However, when artificial intelligence reaches its limits, the moderators receive the contributions for review. These are mostly based in low-income countries and are sometimes exposed to traumatizing content.
But also in this country, social media employees moderate the content of the platforms. In order for the conditions to improve in the long term, employees of TikTok founded a works council as early as 2022. It will be clear in the foreseeable future what will happen next. The union Ver:di supports the plans and could prove to be the right contact person.