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YouTube told content moderators to 'trust in God' and and take 'illegal drugs,' says a former moderator who sued the company after she developed PTSD symptoms and depression on the job

YouTube told content moderators to 'trust in God' and and take 'illegal drugs,' says a former moderator who sued the company after she developed PTSD symptoms and depression on the job

Silhouettes of mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Youtube logo in this picture illustration
Reuters




A former YouTube content moderator is suing the company over what she says were its "failure to provide a safe workplace for the thousands of contractors that scrub YouTube's platform of disturbing content."




In the lawsuit, which was filed Monday, the ex-moderator claimed YouTube's negligence played a role in her developing PTSD symptoms and depression while on the job.




She also claimed YouTube ignored its own workplace safety best practices and that "underqualified and undertrained" wellness coaches told moderators to "trust in God" and "take illegal drugs."




The lawsuit places YouTube back under the spotlight after The Verge detailed moderators' oppressive working conditions and resulting mental health conditions in a report last year, as well as Facebook's $52 million settlement over a similar issue in May.




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A former YouTube moderator is suing the company over allegations that it violated California law by failing to provide a safe workplace and protect moderators' mental health, which she said caused her to develop "severe psychological trauma including depression and symptoms associated with anxiety and PTSD."In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed Monday, the ex-moderator claimed that YouTube, which is owned by Google, "failed to implement the workplace safety standards it helped create" and required moderators "to work under conditions it knows cause and exacerbate psychological trauma."The ex-moderator, who is not named in the suit, worked as a YouTube contractor via a staffing agency called Collabera from January 2018 to August 2019. She's seeking to force YouTube to implement stronger safety guidelines as well as create and pay into a fund to cover the medical costs required to diagnose and treat her and other moderators who may have developed mental health conditions.YouTube and Collabera did not respond to requests for comment.
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