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Facebook, YouTube moderators forced to sign PTSD disclosure forms

Content moderators hired by a third-party company used by the world’s leading online content websites are being required to sign a form warning them certain content they may be exposed to as part of their jobs could cause post traumatic stress disorder.

This week, the Financial Times newspaper and technology blog The Verge said moderators hired by the firm Accenture have been asked to sign the documents stating they understand certain content could affect their mental health.

The forms come amid a spectrum of media reports noting content moderators at social media companies and other online services are subjected to a barrage of cringeworthy content, including photographs and videos showing dead bodies, violent acts and sex crimes against children.

In a statement provided to media outlets, Accenture said only new employees were being asked to sign the forms of understanding and that it was part of the company’s process of regularly reviewing and updating “the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do.”

Employees in the United States and Europe were given the forms to sign. The notices explained how those suffering from issues associated with disturbing content could call a mental health hotline, but warned the hotline staff were not medical professionals.

Facebook and Google told BBC News it did not review the form prior to it being distributed to contract workers.

News of the form comes as contractors at Facebook who work for Accenture filed lawsuits claiming they were subjected to content that affected their mental well being.