The ugly side of Internet moderation

Internet moderation/content specialist

You probably never heard of a content specialist and that’s just because it’s a fancy name for a social media moderator. They manage all social media platforms looking to respond to comments, high inappropriate posts, escalate items to Customer Service. Mainly the company use a social media service like this are pretty large and have a lot of money to spend. It’s a thankless position, and the only real bright side to the job is the fact that you can work from home.

For six years I worked my ass off for a social media company that manages large accounts located in Canada. I’m not going to name them here, but there are very few companies like this in existence anymore thanks to AI. In the beginning, they seemed like a great company but slowly started to decline, and I would not be surprised if they went out of business before the end of 2018.

In my six years at this company, I worked my way up to the position of Content Specialist. A Content Specialist is pretty much the equivalent of a lead or maybe even assistant manager when the actual account manager is not available. I worked very hard and I know I was good at my job. I got moves around to different accounts quite a few times but rarely had any negative feedback. However, I also never received any praise when I created time-saving methods and one time even caught something on account I wasn’t working and fixed it that would’ve been a big publicity issue had I not seen it. It started growing on Reddit, but because I was able to take these things down quickly, most people thought the poster was faking screenshots.

What really gets under my skin is the fact that most of my managers which we went through quite a bit of had no real idea about how to even do the day-to-day work on these accounts. They kept giving me more and more responsibilities and yet never gave me a raise in over three years. I was required to have my Google Hangouts on 24/7 and answer any questions people might have. I did make it to a salary position a few years ago but earlier this year they converted me to hourly which meant that I lost approximately $100 per paycheck. I still had the same responsibilities thrown at me and eventually even more. These tasks were impossible to complete and just 40 hours yet the company rarely offered over time. I was told to just change my time log to 40 hours before I submitted it. Many times to complete all my required work I would hit the 60 to 70 hour a week amount.

To make matters worse when they switched me from salary back to hourly they said that I wouldn’t be receiving a check until the following payday because they had already paid me for that week as salary the last paycheck. However, when they switched me over to salary from hourly they never actually gave me my two weeks of hourly pay that I had earned. I argued with them quite a bit, and eventually, the agreed to loan me my paycheck, but I would have to have to repay it via future paychecks. It didn’t seem legal to me, and according to a lawyer, it was a violation of my states labor law. 

Another thing that would get under my skin is that many of my supervisors would lump what their job is supposed to be on to me. During these times if I came up with something the client loved they would take credit for it and even praise from upper management and possibly even extra money. I did stick it out here despite the fact that after I had one manager who would always use my bipolar disorder against me and say things like “just do it and stop being so bipolar” or “Are you sure you took the medication today.” I hated this particular manager because when my wife worked there as well whenever my wife didn’t want to do an extra shift which they pretty much almost demand sometimes even 10 minutes before they start she took it out on me. She made me do extra work and even wrote me up for things I could prove I did not do. She left the company a while ago, and new management took over. Extreme turnover to tell you something about how bad the positions have become.

Anyway, I’m no longer there and can already feel my anxiety level getting a lot better. Hopefully, we can figure out a way to make things work financially, but when it comes down to it, my wife says my health is more important than a crappy job.

I really hope companies like REI, Sport Check, Citi bank, hello world and many others realized that in my opinion they are working with a terrible company and should just leave ICUC altogether. I especially liked working the REI account because I put so many hours into it and corrected so many mistakes other people on the team had made. They have great contests like what’s her butt, one where people talked about going outside, and best of all the Opt Outside #optoutside campaign that I was usually in charge of. Best of luck all of the clients and any other ones because I believe they deserve people who actually care about the accounts and will go above and beyond to make sure the brand is protected and loved. I especially hope that Derek Konzelman realizes that most of the team doesn’t really seem to care about the account and I had to continuously coach them and even go back and fix their replies. I really hope that ICUC moderation services actually gives me my final paychecks but if they don’t I’m going to have to go after them legally through the courts.

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