As a social media moderator, you may be exposed to inappropriate, offensive, or graphic content regularly. In the end, it may lead to post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems. The role of social media moderators includes listening, analyzing, and responding to the content on a social site, live event, or community.
In the course of your duty, you may be exposed to disturbing content, including graphic pornography, hate speech, and violence. Many social media moderators are exposed to dreadful content on different social media platforms, which can result in health problems for the moderator viewing this content on a regular basis.
Social Media Moderators & PTSD
In the United States a social media company agreed to pay $52 million in compensation to both its current and former moderators who experienced mental health problems on the job. The settlement was for over 11,000 content moderators who developed an addiction, depression, and other mental health concerns. Social media companies employ thousands of moderators, and they are subjected to lots of disturbing posts and images. If a post is suspected to be breaking the rules, the moderators have to review it. They can then decide whether to delete or let it stay.
Social media moderators are like the bodyguards of the internet. However, it is not always possible to keep personal beliefs and feelings separate to avoid being affected. Even though negative activities may be used to target a community or brand, they are received by the moderators. It may be difficult not to take them personally. Social media moderators may feel like inappropriate content is insulting or attacking them personally.
Malicious people may make offensive posts on purpose with the goal of provoking negative comments or reactions. Others may have no idea that their posts are offensive. In both instances, the moderators have to put their personal beliefs aside and think about the existing regulations.
Regular exposure to the conflict and negativity is not good for anyone, especially because many moderators do not get the chance to deal with the pain. The symptoms of PTSD and other mental health issues may start being apparent after some time by moderators who are exposed to heinous content.
Moderating social media content does affect not only your mood but also your emotional and mental well-being. Even when going through psychological burnout, moderators have to keep going, or they may be deemed less valuable to their employer.
Content Moderators Ireland
Content moderators in Ireland face similar problems to other content moderators in the world. Even though the content they moderate is not always awful, some of it can be so bad that it remains with them for years. Their job includes looking at the most graphic videos not only as a horrified viewer but also as someone who is trying to maintain objectivity. Even when you are sure that you need to delete a video, you must decide whether to delete it for graphic violence, supporting terrorist organizations, or for terrorism.
Employers are obligated to protect their content moderators who may be exposed to graphic or inappropriate content. All employers are obligated to ensure that their employees understand all risks to their health and safety while at work. Employers have a duty of care towards their employees, have obligations under the Safety Health & Welfare legislation, and if a moderator employee has PTSD or other mental health concerns as a result of the job, you can attend with a solicitor who practices in tort law to assess negligence and understand your legal rights and any right of recourse that may be available to you.
Duties of Employers
The general employer duties as provided under Sections 8, 10, 17, and 18 of Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 include to:
- Ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees at work.
- Avert any improper workplace conduct or habits that are likely to endanger worker safety, health or welfare.
- Ensure the design, provision and upkeep of a safe workplace that is devoid of health risks.
- Ensure the design, planning and upkeep of safe workplace egress means.
- Ensure the design, arrangement and maintenance of safe equipment, plant and other articles.
- Ensure the safety and prevention of health risks relating to article use, noise exposure, vibrations, ionising agents and radiation.
- Offer planned, organised, tested, maintained and updated systems of work.
- Give access to and maintain facilities and arrangements at work for employee welfare.
- Provide instructions, training, and supervision required for ensuring employee safety, health, and welfare.
- Determine and uphold safety, health and welfare procedures when identifying hazardous conditions and performing a risk assessment.
- Have regard to the overall prevention principles in situations where it’s impossible to eliminate or sufficiently control risks.
- Prepare and revise enough arrangements and measures to be complied with and procedures to be enforced in emergency cases.
- Inform the relevant authority about workplace accidents and dangerous incidents.
- Obtain, where applicable, the services of a skilled person in order to ensure safety, health and welfare of all workers.
- Ensure instructions, training and supervision is delivered in an appropriate manner and language.
- Ensure employees get enough safety, health and welfare training.
- Ensure an employee’s capabilities are considered in relation to specific tasks.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
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