Facebook Contractor Cognizant to Cut 13,000 Jobs in the Next Few Quarters

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, one of Facebook Inc’s content review contractors, said on Wednesday (Oct 30) it would shut some content moderation business, including those focusing on identifying objectionable content, resulting in about 6,000 job cuts. 

The information technology services provider will also eliminate up to 7,000 jobs in its other units to invest in growth areas such as cloud and internet of things to cushion the impact from a decline in spending by its financial customers.

The exit from some parts of the content moderation business will hurt financial performance in the coming year, Cognizant said. 

Chief Executive Officer Brian Humphries said on a call with analysts the company had decided that work focused on determining whether content violated client standards was not part of its strategic vision. The work “can involve objectionable materials,” he said. 

Cognizant had about 500 workers in India’s southern city of Hyderabad looking for sensitive topics or profane language in Facebook videos, Reuters reported in May. The Verge also reported that some Cognizant employees scouring potentially objectionable content for Facebook faced difficult conditions. 

A Cognizant spokesman did not say whether the Verge story led to the decision described on Wednesday. The spokesman said the move reflected the company’s new strategy and that Cognizant was not completely exiting content moderation. 

“We’ll work with our partners during this transition to ensure there’s no impact on our ability to review content and keep people safe,” said Arun Chandra, vice president of scaled operations at Facebook. 

Facebook works with at least five outsourcing vendors in at least eight countries on content review, according to a Reuters tally.

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