Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is no longer paying contractors to listen and transcribe users' audio conversations.
"Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago," the company said in a statement. Facebook hired hundreds of contractors for the project, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg, and the workers were not told how the audio was obtained. They often found themselves listening to vulgar conversations, Bloomberg says, and had no idea why they had been ordered to transcribe these chats.
Facebook said that since 2015, users have had the option of having their voice chats transcribed, and the contractors were checking to see if the company's artificial intelligence was correctly interpreting the anonymous conversations. Critics have called this an invasion of privacy.