Target: Satya Nadella, Executive Chief Officer of Microsoft
Goal: Provide psychological services to moderators forced to watch porn and murder videos.
Two internet moderators for Microsoft are suing the company for failure to properly address their increasing mental health issues due to the offensive nature of the content they were made to view. Allegedly struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Henry Soto and Greg Blauert claim Microsoft responded by creating a “wellness program” in which participants were advised to take smoke breaks and go for walks. Video games were also recommended, but the violence often depicted in these games could trigger a reaction. Soto is on medical leave, and Blauert has suffered psychological breakdowns due to some of the violent and pornographic images and videos he witnessed. Both men say that seeing children, knives, computers, and other things that remind them of what they saw cause them a lot of panic and stress.
Soto and Blauert claim they were not warned about the potential danger of working as internet moderators. Their job is to keep other users safe, but it apparently comes with a price. Moderators for any company rely on users to flag content for review, leaving hundreds of thousands of potentially offensive materials that need to be vetted every day. The worst of these images depict bestiality, child pornography, and murder in ways that are unimaginable.
Internet moderators are integral to the reputation and community of a website, and they deserve to be protected from long-term, psychological harm. Some suggest companies like Microsoft could try a rotating schedule of who has to view the content or provide more paid time off. The sound solution seems to be to offer professional psychiatric services to employees and their families. Sign this petition to demand that Microsoft offer better mental health management options to its moderators.
Dear Mr. Nadella,
Employees of your company are suing because they believe they developed PTSD due to the nature of their work as internet moderators. As you know, these employees spend the day scanning offensive images, some of which depict murder, child pornography, and other heinous acts.
Psychological support is obviously needed for those working in this position. Moderators from many companies have complained of seeing disturbing images in their heads long after they’ve disappeared from the screen. I demand that you offer professional psychiatric services to your employees who keep the rest of us safe by moderating offensive material on the internet.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alicegop