The digital age brought with it one of the more stressful jobs out in being a content moderator for some sort of social media platform.
It’s not just the volume of content that these people have to get through, but a lot of the time they are screening content in order to see if it contravenes community guidelines, and in some instances the content can prove disturbing.
This is a factor of the job that has led to diagnoses of PTSD, and companies like YouTube are beginning to acknowledge this fact. Unfortunately the firm does not appear to be helping its employees according to the latest set of documents and interviews obtained by The Verge.
The site got said information from Accenture, which operates a moderation platform for YouTube in Austin, Texas. In it employees were made to sign a document acknowledging the fact that the job may cause PTSD, with the document reportedly being sent out on 20th December last year.
“It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I will take full advantage of the weCare program and seek additional mental health services if needed. I will tell my supervisor/or my HR People Adviser if I believe that the work is negatively affecting my mental health,” reads a portion of the document which employees were made to sign.
While this document appears to show concern on the part of Accenture and YouTube for the mental health of its employees, it is still up to those working to monitor their own mental health, which is often difficult to do in some a stressful environment.
As such it looks as if YouTube is shifting the responsibility to its employees to handle such matters, and taking very little ownership for their well being.
Whether this is part of a larger legal decision is unclear, but the timing of the document being sent out, as well as employees being forced to sign it, all raises red flags.
It’s also unknown at this stage if this latest reveal will result in a further probe into the working conditions of YouTube moderators and whether enough is being done to assist with handling PTSD related to the job.
Either way it is not a profession that one enters into lightly.
For a deeper dive into the document, read The Verge’s report in the link below.