Philippines: Report highlights psychological distress outsourced social media content moderators experience

Author: Elizabeth Dwoskin, Jeanne Whalen & Regine Cabato, Washington Post, Published on: 29 July 2019

"Content moderators at YouTube, Facebook and Twitter see the worst of the web — and suffer silently", 25 July 2019 

...social media companies have created…jobs…to vet…violent or offensive content...Yet the firms keep these workers at arm’s length…employing them as contractors through giant outsourcing agencies.

Workers…say the companies do not provide adequate support to address the psychological consequences of the work. They say they cannot confide in friends because [of]…confidentiality agreements…,that it is tough to opt out of content that they see, and that…accuracy targets create pressure not to take breaks…

...The work places enormous burdens on them to…moderate content in up to 10 languages...while making several hundred decisions a day about what can remain online…moderators...described a workplace where nightmares, paranoia and obsessive ruminations were common...Several described seeing colleagues suffer mental breakdowns...

Facebook…says it is planning to provide unlimited access to in-person counseling…and is exploring offering counselling…after workers leave...Facebook is also in the process of creating ways to evaluate workers on multiple metrics, which it hopes will reduce the pressure for accuracy…

…YouTube says moderators worldwide have “regular” access to counseling, and that they do not review content for more than five hours a day…Twitter says it now offers daily counseling and has instructed outsourcing companies to begin offering additional psychological support…after they leave the job…

 

Read the full post here

Related companies: Facebook Twitter YouTube (part of Alphabet)