October 23, 2019

Rep. Katie Porter continues to leave marks on the witnesses she questions in Congress, regardless of their social status or economic power. Here she is questioning Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, one of the richest men at the youngest age in the world, about the conditions under which he insists his contract workers labor.

He pays "content monitors" either $15 or $20 per hour to watch gruesome videos and content (murders, suicides, stabbings, etc) to determine whether or not it is allowed or appropriate for the site. This is work he does not ask his own Facebook employees to perform, remember. He contracts this traumatizing work out. Rep. Porter asks him to confirm that he cuts them off from mental health care when they leave the company, even if they have PTSD as a result of the work they've done for Facebook.

Then she lowers an even heavier hammer.

REP. PORTER: According to one report, these workers get 9 minutes of supervised wellness time per day. That means 9 minutes of time to cry in a stairwell while someone watches them. Would you be willing to commit to spending one hour a day for the next year watching these videos and acting as a content monitor, and only accessing the same benefits available to your workers?

ZUCKERBERG: Uh...Congresswoman...we work hard to make sure that we give good benefits to all the folks who are doing this...

REP PORTER: Mr. Zuckerberg, reclaiming my time. I would appreciate a yes or a no. Would you be willing to act as a content monitor? To have that life experience?

ZUCKERBERG: Uh...Congresswoman, I'm not sure that would best serve our community for me to spend that much time...I spend a lot...

REP. PORTER: Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Mr. Zuckerberg. Are you saying you're not qualified to be a content monitor?

ZUCKERBERG: No, Congresswoman, that's not what I'm saying.

REP. PORTER: Okay, then you're saying you're not willing to do it.

LISTEN. When Congresswoman Katie Porter from California asks you a question, ANSWER it. And absorb the lesson you are fortunate enough to be in her classroom to learn. In Zuckerberg's case, the lesson is to learn some humility and not be a d*ck to his workers. My prediction is he will fail.

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