Ex-Facebook content moderator claims disturbing images gave her PTSD; sues
A former contract employee for Facebook alleges in a lawsuit filed on Friday that her time there as a content manager left her with post-traumatic stress disorder, triggered at times when she touches a computer mouse.
Selena Scola, who worked at Facebook for nine months, was tasked with enforcing the company’s policy on prohibited content such as violence, hate speech, child exploitation, nudity and disinformation, according to SFgate.com.
She claims the tech giant failed to uphold its workplace safety standards for the moderation field. Scola says she developed PTSD "as a result of constant and unmitigated exposure to highly toxic and extremely disturbing images at the workplace.”
Korey Nelson, a lawyer for Scola, said in a statment that the company is "ignoring its duty to provide a safe workplace and instead creating a revolving door of contractors who are irreparably traumatized by what they witnessed on the job."
A spokesman for the company told Reuters in a statement that Facebook "takes the support of our content moderators incredibly seriously, ... ensuring that every person reviewing Facebook content is offered psychological support and wellness resources."
Facebook hires thousands of moderators around the world to determine if posts violate its policy on appropriate content.
The woman reportedly worked for Facebook through a third party contracting company, Pro Unlimited, Inc., which is based in Boca Raton, Fla.
Scola claims that her PTSD could be triggered by entering cold buildings or touching a computer mouse.
Her lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, demands that Facebook and the third party companies it outsources provide content moderators with proper mandatory mental health treatment and support.
The social media website has been developing artificial intelligence to help identify such content, however, the technology is reportedly not yet sophisticated enough to replace human labor.