YouTube is an enormous operation, but the people who are responsible for keeping the platform free from objectionable content are often overwhelmed. Now, news from The Verge shows that the job of keeping the video site safe now comes with a warning that PTSD could come along with the gig. Accenture is a company that runs moderation operations for the massive website, and some documents distributed to workers in December made their way onto the Internet. The documents say workers may end up reviewing “disturbing” content and then admit that “such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” The Verge’s report indicates that PTSD is highlighted in the text.
Now, the company has sent a response to the outlet about their part in the strange document. Moderators do vital and necessary work to keep digital platforms safer for everyone," a YouTube spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We choose the companies we partner with carefully and require them to provide comprehensive resources to support moderators' wellbeing and mental health."
Accenture told outlets Friday that new hires are asked to review these materials and such documents are common in this line of work. The company also mentioned that this helps foster an environment where workers can be free to notify employers if they are in distress or need support.
Their statement read, "The wellbeing of our people is a top priority. We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do -- and of the industry-leading wellness program and comprehensive support services we provide."
All of this news comes on the heels of YouTube’s parent company Google announcing that temp workers that supply the workforce for the massive entity will have to be provided with full benefits this year. Still, it’s a pretty harrowing picture of life for the mods as they do their best to battle some of the worst content that pops up on the web. It feels like the road forward will be filled with these sorts of challenges.
Google’s vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton said last year, "These are meaningful changes, and we’re starting in the U.S., where comprehensive healthcare and paid parental leave are not mandated by U.S. law. As we learn from our implementation here, we’ll identify and address areas of potential improvement in other areas of the world."
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