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It's true that Cognizant has direct power to change things, but ultimately, the buck stops with Facebook, since they seem to be the vast majority of Cognizant's work and thus essentially have direct control of the purse strings. FB has the ability to change how Cognizant treats its workforce, and it's Facebook's choice to take a stand or to wash its hands of it. FB also has indirect say in demanding a certain standard ("98% accuracy target") for a given amount of money ($200M) -- though obviously if FB were to simply pay Cognizant more for the contract, there's no guarantee Cognizant would use that money for better worker pay/benefits (as opposed to giving bigger bonuses to executives, for example).

In the article, one of the contractors says that Cognizant puts up a "dog-and-pony show" whenever FB executives visit. Again, it's ultimately up to FB to decide how much they want to push past the facade.

Why wouldn't the buck actually stop with Cognizant management? FB isn't demanding these horrible labor practices, Cognizant is.

They’re paying rates that more or less require it.

Facebook is? What rate does Facebook pay and how much are these Cognizant employees getting paid?

The assumption is that Facebook is selecting the contracting agencies based on performance or cost. If Cognizant's performance doesn't meet the Facebook's standards they will get dropped, the same thing will happen Cognizant isn't competitive on price.

This downward pressure ends up directly impacting moderators. Cognizant needs to keep payroll costs low so they don't lose the contract, and the contracted accuracy target of 98% seems unrealistic. So moderators end up fearing for their jobs when they don't meet accuracy targets.

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