THE BATTLE AGAINST PTSD
Content Moderator Compensation Claim Form
Over the last few years there has been a significant rise in reported cases of ‘content moderators’ being diagnosed with PTSD. As reported by (the verge), this rise has been attributed to daily exposure of violent and disturbing content as part of the job requirement. Exposure to gruesome and disturbing content like animal cruelty, beheading, bestiality, drug abuse, extreme violence, gambling, pornography, sexual assault and terrorism has taken a toll on their mental health.
What makes this job even more stressful for content moderators is that apart from reviewing such content on a frequent basis they are also required to maintain regular targets to keep their jobs going. Without adequate support from their superiors and insufficient entitlement to services only adds to the anxiety of an already stressful job.
Content moderation companies have been persuading potential employees by providing them with misleading information related to their job. “Shawn Speagle” former Facebook content moderator quoted during an interview with (The Verge) that his job description was misleading to what he was actually assigned. After their initial screening, content moderation companies have been forcing their employees to sign a lengthy non-disclosure agreement acknowledging “this job might cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”, before they even begin their employment, said Casey Newton, Reporter (The Verge). This contract not only prohibits employees from disclosing any work-related stress to their superiors but could also lead to harassment or even termination of their employment contract if the company deems them unfit for the job, (The Verge).
Clueless and scared, content moderators continue their jobs with neither adequate benefits nor medical allowances. Although full time-moderators working for Facebook and Google get additional benefits compared to contract-based moderators. However, a former Google content moderator “Daisy Soderberg” quoted during an interview with verge “all these benefits don’t mean anything if a person has to see such contents every day. It leaves a scar behind which nothing can heal”
With increasing distress among content moderators, Facebook has finally agreed to pay a sum of $ 52 million to all existing and former content moderators as compensation for mental suffering that they have endured during their tenure. Facebook is also working on an algorithm to automatically remove “reported content” without the involvement of content moderators to reduce the post-traumatic stress involved in this job.
Irrespective of the actions taken by multi-national corporations, there are still more than 10,000 vulnerable content moderators working tirelessly across the globe. No amount of compensation could compensate for the traumatic experience and memories, these moderators will have to carry on for the rest of their lives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my Employer owe me a duty of care for psychological injuries?
Where it is reasonably foreseeable that an employee is working under such pressure that could cause mental health issues, you employer owes you a duty to take reasonable steps to address these issues.
Once a duty of care is established and you as an employee have sufferent a psycological inusry as a result of your employer’s negligence you can take a claim for injuries suffered.
Do I have the same rights and safeguards being a third-party employee?
An employer is legally required to provide yo with a safe place of work and a safe system of work. Historically agency workers were treated in an entirely different manner to those workers who were hired directly into the workforce. Whilst the employment agency is the employer, the company is also respomsoble for breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.
Your right to being protected under Health and Safety Regulations are the responsibility of both the company company where you are doing the temporary work and the agency.
I was previously employed to review graphic content that caused me psychological injuries, however, I was not aware at the time that the content I reviewed had caused psychological injuries, can I take a case against my employer now?
A person has two years from the date they become aware they have been injured in which they can make a claim for compensation. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you can take a claim that will not be statue barred.
How do I know if I have suffered a psychological injury?
Psychological injuries are not always immediately obvious and only become evident over a period of time. It is important that you are correctly diagnosed with a medically recognised psychological illness/Injury.
Each case is unique and the effect of psychological injuries or PTSD will wary with each individuals.
Costs-I don't have any resources to fund my case, how much will it cost me and how can I take a claim?
It is important to note that no solicitor’s fee may be calculated as a percentage of any award or settlement you receive. Any fees calculated by your solicitor must be calculated as a representation of any work carried on your case. The team at Coleman Legal are supportive in every way of your case and we are aware of a positive outcome for commercial content moderators in the US. We will NOT CHARGE you legal fees if your case is unsuccessful. It is important to note that you may be liable for the other side’s legal defence or any costs such as medical fees for reports, or other costs for exsperts reports, etc. If you case is successful in court or settled out of court, you will then have to pay legal fees.
EU Content Moderators- I am not based in Ireland, however, I am a content moderator working for a third-party agency who assign us work under the direction of a contractor where their headquarters are based elsewhere in Europe, can I take a case?
EU Citizens and residents who were working as content moderators in an EU country may take their case through the Irish Courts once the headquarters are based in Ireland.
What are my rights as a current employee of the contractor or a third-party agency?
Irish Law safeguards the rights of employees, and these include a facility to make a claim for compensation againts your current employer where they have failed in their duty of care towards you. Employers have a duty to protect their employees from injury and provide a safe place of work. when you have suffered an injury as a result of stress in the workplace you can make a personal injury compensation against your employer.
Will the current Covid-19 pandemic prevent me from taking my claim or cause delays to my claim?
Covid-19 has affected everybody. We are fully operational during covid-19 crisis. We continue to receive instuructions throughout Europe. Our services are being conducted over the phone and with video calling to ensure the safety of our clients while providing minimal disruption to our services.
CONTENT MODERATOR COMPENSATION CLAIM
If you are a Content Moderator suffering from mental or psychological trauma caused by your job, Coleman Legal urges you to speak to an experienced solicitor. Confidentiality will be given utmost priority.