Content Reviewers See Worst of the Web
Too much of the Internet's dark side can affect mental health
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 6:14 PM CDT
Updated Jul 25, 2010 6:39 AM CDT
Content reviewers can suffer adverse mental consequences from seeing vile videos and images.   (McMasterMedia)

(Newser) – Imagine spending your workday looking at the vilest images and videos the Internet has to offer. That's the lot of content reviewers, who fill an increasingly necessary role in an online world more and more driven by user-generated content. It's essential for social-networking sites to stay free of snuff videos and scat porn, but the people forced to look at the stuff all day can suffer adverse mental health consequences, reports the New York Times.

One IT exec compares content reviewers to “combat veterans, completely desensitized to all kinds of imagery.” Because of the harsh nature of the work, many firms outsource it, and firms have sprung up across the globe to fill the niche. Wherever the work is done, psychological consequences follow. A company in the Philippines recently had its employees evaluated by a psychologist, who concluded: “The images interfere with their thinking processes. It messes up the way you react to your partner. If you work with garbage, you will get dirty.”