When Content Moderators for Social Media Sites Experience PTSD

Longreads

— In Wired, Adrian Chen travels to the Philippines to talk to employees who work at content moderation companies that do outsourced work for companies in the U.S., scrubbing objectionable content (sexually explicit images, gore, racism, solicitation of minors) from major social media sites. It’s a difficult job:

In Manila, I meet Denise (not her real name), a psychologist who consults for two content-moderation firms in the Philippines. “It’s like PTSD,” she tells me as we sit in her office above one of the city’s perpetually snarled freeways. “There is a memory trace in their mind.” Denise and her team set up extensive monitoring systems for their clients. Employees are given a battery of psychological tests to determine their mental baseline, then interviewed and counseled regularly to minimize the effect of disturbing images. But even with the best counseling, staring into the heart of human darkness exacts a toll…

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