Revealed: Accenture forces its Facebook moderators to sign a form acknowledging that the work can lead to PTSD

Every day, content moderators at Facebook and YouTube review scenes of real-life horror – militants beheading victims and children being abused – so we don’t have to. There are thousands of these workers in the EU. Without them social media as we know it simply could not exist.

Pay is low and the repeated exposure to toxic material gives many workers PTSD. We see moderators’ working conditions as the tech equivalent of the fashion industry’s sweatshops. It’s time to clean up social media’s factory floor.

Some content moderation staff are employed directly by Facebook whilst others are outsourced to other companies. For example, Accenture, a global professional services company, runs a number of content moderation sites for Facebook across Europe.

As part of Foxglove’s work to protect the rights and health of content moderators, we’ve interviewed and offered support to staff from four content moderation sites across Europe.

A recent exposé in the Financial Times, featuring Foxglove, showed that Accenture forces its content moderation workers to sign a form acknowledging that their work can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This leaked document proves that the tech firms know content moderation can cause PTSD and are seeking to avoid responsibility by making workers sign release forms.

Foxglove will continue to investigate working conditions at content moderation sites, and offer support and encouragement to their staff, alongside supporting legal action from individual moderators who have suffered harm.