Facebook’s ex-content moderator claims her job gave her PTSD

Every Facebook user can tell you about the weird stuff they’ve seen being posted on the public platform, and a few others could even tell you about some grim content that they have come across.

One of Facebook’s ex-content moderators, Selena Scola, is among those few. Scola is claiming that during her nine months working for Facebook, she had to watch so many disturbing videos and images that it has actually caused her to acquire post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the New York Times, examples of gruesome acts being removed from Facebook’s public eye by Content Moderators include (but are not limited to):

  • The fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a Minnesota police officer
  • The suicide of a 14-year-old foster child
  • A father in Thailand killing his 11-month-old daughter and then hanging himself
  • Countless beheadings

Scola claims that her post-traumatic stress disorder is triggered, “when she touches a computer mouse, enters a cold building, watches violence on television, hears loud noises or is startled.”

Bertie Thomson, the director of corporate communications at Facebook, released the following statement regarding the condition of work for their moderators: “We recognize that this work can often be difficult, that is why we take the support of our content moderators incredibly seriously, starting with their training, the benefits they receive and ensuring that every person reviewing Facebook content is offered psychological support and wellness resources.”

According to Thomson, Facebook offers in-house resources to their employees for psychological support, including counseling services, but for people like Scola, that does not seem to be enough.

Scola wants Facebook to take more responsibility over the well-being of their employees, especially for their moderators, including starting a fund to establish a testing and treatment program that both current and former content moderators can have access to at any time.

This program would also provide medical testing services and psychiatric treatment for employees. Along with this proposal, Scola is requesting that Facebook pay her legal fees for the lawsuit she is pressing against them for her condition. Facebook has not currently released any new statements regarding this issue.