Podcast Title: From Nightmares To PTSD, The Toll On Facebook Moderators
Channel: Fresh Air: NPR
A Bird’s Eye View
National Public Radio (NPR) : Fresh Air Podcast is an interesting take on things that should really matter to the listeners. The topic on Facebook Moderators needs some looking into from a humane point of view. I found journalist Casey Newton’s take on the issue was rather studied and walked the tight-rope of being level-headed on an issue which turns out emotional responses.
The Graphic Content in the Facebook and other social media channels are pre-checked and moderated before being visible to the general public. The person doing this task is known as the Content Moderator and Facebook employs Content Moderators to check these images. The podcast discusses about the various impact of being an content moderator overwork for long duration and over exposure to such toxic images leaves them in highly precarious mental health condition.
In My Humble Opinion
Ever tried reading a comics about heroes who are on the mission to save the world. Much of the world of images are created for specific impact. In the case of Comics the entire editorial team with graphic artists try to bring an experience to the table.
In the case of the content found in the SocMed Channels are subject to the aim of making an impact on the reader reason can be as diverse as the image itself. One of the most important thing in the face of such overload of images is that at some point we have become immunized to look at very disturbing images in our daily fast-paced life.
The brains takes in the images and the processing in the mental spaces are subject to so much distress and hurt. Over the time seeing pictures that are extremely toxic takes it toll on the viewer of the images. Just imagine if this simple image can create such an impact, then wouldn’t long duration of violent and harsh images whether real or made-up to create unrest is not going to help the innocent bystander Surfer on the net.
The fact that there exists a Facebook Content Moderator who nit-picks these content and only those images that have been vetted for the various violent factors and these graded images provided by these team of moderators are allowed airing time on the SocMed Channel of Facebook.
I remember seeing a very disturbing image of a child running away in mortal fear and in a completely vulnerable human condition. The video showed her running on the street in distress and seeing such an image of a girl child running déshabillé. Watching the young one, avoiding the man-made catastrophe, it was most disturbing to see. I saw this about 10 years back and it was part of the reportage of the war event.
I was distress and really worried to watch those images and spend a week feeling bereft and depressed with huge amount of shame on behalf of the child. News Reporting these days are peppered and salted with images of such violence and especially if there is a coverage of booming event.
This is one of the reasons that I don’t try to read news early in the morning and keep snacking on title but then even words bring with it violence which an escapist like me tries to avoid at all cost. I am usually creating words than seeing any image, and I keep off SocMed as far as possible. I feel we have come to a level of acceptance on violence and vile images that some level of violence, gory details are just basics now. I fear such compliance in the acceptance level of the reader and surfer. Then, we would get to a point that we would accept violence to be part of life visually. This then impacts the reaction of the emotions when the images get processed in the mental spheres of the mind.
Of course, people who do this job on a regular basis of vetting images are going to be far more affected. Their perception of reality will get befuddled in the constant exposure to violence of the visual kind.
It becomes all the more important that we find out where is our thresh-hold for tolerance. We live in AI and technology getting becoming so fast that we don’t forget the basic human virtues that needs to be extolled in our life. Moreover, you don’t want your Primary class teacher cringing, thinking of thier efforts to build human manner tables as a matrix in our emotional part of the brain and in our behavioral science; but to sadly find it to have gone awry.