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7.4.20
Mental Toll

YouTube Mods Forced to Sign Doc Acknowledging They Might Get PTSD

January 27th 20__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
YouTube/Victor Tangermann

Dirty Trick

On December 16, 2019, The Verge published an investigation about how moderating content for YouTube left many workers with mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Four days later, Accenture, the firm running the moderation site at the center of the investigation, asked employees to sign a document acknowledging that the job could cause PTSD — a likely bid to discourage future lawsuits.

Sign Here

On Friday, The Verge published details about the document, including several lines reportedly pulled directly from it.

“I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing,” the document reads, according to The Verge. “It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

Shirking Responsibility

In the past year, several former content moderators have also filed lawsuits against social giant Facebook, alleging that the job caused mental trauma.

With this new document, Accenture may be trying to get ahead of any future legal action by making employees feel responsible for any mental health issues caused by the job — but as Hugh Baran, a staff attorney with the nonprofit National Employment Law Project, told The Verge, the document will likely do little to help Accenture if employees do decide to sue.

“Under most understandings of OSHA, it doesn’t matter what you make people sign,” Baran said. “You can’t [eliminate] your burden to provide your employees with safe working conditions.”

READ MORE: Youtube Moderators Are Being Forced to Sign a Statement Acknowledging the Job Can Give Them PTSD [The Verge]

More on content moderation: Former Content Moderators Sue Facebook for Giving Them PTSD