Recently, content moderators working at YouTube were given an acknowledgment form. The form is to agree to the possibility of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To start with, PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. An event that you either experience or witness. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
People who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty coping or adjusting. While some of them get better with time and self-care, others get worse. For instance, if you still have lingering after-effects from an horrific experience, then you may have PTSD.
YouTube’s recruiting Firm – Accenture, recently got hit with a lawsuit from former employees. Their claim? The Job roles gave them PTSD.
In depth investigation by Verge, on YouTube’s employees speaks volumes of how deep this mental disorder is among them.
Old and existing employees have different mind-blowing experiences on this. Workers in the Texas office admitted to a feeling of anxiety and mental imbalance after six months in the job.
Here’s How Youtube Staff Suffer PTSD
Peter is one of hundreds of moderators at the Austin site. According to him, YouTube sorts the work for him and his colleagues into various queues. There’s a copyright queue, a hate and harassment queue, and an “adult” queue for porn.
He works on the “VE queue,” which stands for violent extremism. According to sources, It is some of the most dreadful work at Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
In the past year, Peter has seen two of his co-workers grossly affected by PTSD. One collapsed at work, from the distress caused by the videos, while the other was hospitalized for neglecting his diet so badly.
Two years on the job, Peter worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. He apparently makes $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year and worries that he might not find a high-paying job as this!
Describing the effect, he expressed how he started losing hair and gaining weight. Not only that, his temper is now shorter. Although he takes days off, he still has a vein throb his chest when he drives by work, a vein throbs in his chest, even on his off days, he added.
“Every day you watch someone beheading someone, or someone shooting his girlfriend,” he said. “After that, you feel like wow, this world is really crazy. This makes you feel mentally ill. You’re feeling there is nothing worth living for.” he added.
Accenture’s Solution To The Youtube Staff And The PTSD Issue
YouTube content moderators have to sign an acknowledgment document. They are to agree that they understand that the content they will be reviewing may be disturbing. The content may adversely affect their mental health, this they must understand. They are to assent to utilize the weCare program and seek additional mental health services if needed. Moreover, they have to report to HR when the work starts affecting their mental health negatively.
Apparently, Accenture only feels a sense of responsibility in informing employees about the harm of the job. How about the ones who took the job, ignorant of its mentally draining side effects? you may ask. Well, the damage may have been done, but there should be a better solution for existing employees? Do they leave their jobs to get treated? Some of them might even think telling the HR about their mental health might display unfitness for the job.
In all honesty, Accenture should cater for the damage and compensate employees for the mental health implications. I mean, imagine the mental issues suffered by watching a minimum of five gruesome, violent and extreme videos daily,? This is why there’s always a ‘graphic content’ flag on some videos online.
Ever watched any online videos that scarred you? Or have you ever suffered from PTSD? How did you deal?