YouTube Content Mods are being Made to Sign PTSD ‘Waivers’

/ 2 years ago
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There are many unpleasant jobs in the world, and I imagine that being a YouTube Content Moderator is one of them. Firstly, based on the slew of decisions they have to make over thousands of reported videos, you can’t help but feel that in some instances, whatever choice they make, that they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

You then get into the particularly concerning aspect of the job. Namely, when they have to watch videos posted on the site that contain immoral, disgusting or illegal practices. I won’t go into detail, but you get what areas I’m swinging towards here. Put simply, content that no person in their right mind would want to watch, yet sadly, some decide to ‘share’ it.

In a report via the Verge, however, it seems that YouTube has an answer to the emotional stress that this may cause their employees. Namely, by effectively forcing them to sign ‘waivers’ acknowledging that the job may cause them PTSD.

Yes, this may sound dramatic, but keep reading!


YouTube is Making Mods Sign PTSD Waivers

Admittedly, on the surface, it sounds absolutely ridiculous. It may, however, be the Google legal department’s preemptive measure for any lawsuits from staff members. Specifically, those who do (or may) genuinely feel traumatized, but don’t feel that the company provides them with enough support. Whether this is real or simply their perception.

While I won’t quote the entire document, some of the more notable extracts include:

“I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing.

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.

No job is worth sacrificing my mental or emotional health. This job is not for everyone”


What Do We Think?

As much as I want to rail against YouTube (or more specifically, Google) for making their employees sign such a document, there is a logic behind it. If employees are genuinely feeling disturbed by what they’ve seen in the line of duty, then they should feel free to speak to their bosses. Specifically, to be able to express their concerns or distress without fear of losing their job. It’s well known that people should talk about their mental health more often. The problem is, in the workplace, that can often feel difficult.

We should note that the waiver is pretty clear that any employee reporting this will not be fired. In addition, there is also a significant level of ‘after-care’ in place. With Facebook and Twitter also reportedly considering implementing such waivers, however, one can only hope that the support they provide is not only good, but excellent!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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