Microsoft was cited in a lawsuit filed by two former employees, who accused the company of refusing to provide adequate psychological support. The two ex-employees declared that the nature of their position at the company left them susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Greg Blauert and Henry Soto have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the tech giant of providing inadequate psychological support. The two men were part of the company’s Online Safety Team, tasked with identifying and flagging inappropriate online content.
In their testimonies, Blauert and Soto declared during their employment; they were exposed on a daily basis to gruesome and graphically violent content including child pornography, murder, horrific sexual assaults, and various brutal acts.
The two ex-employees also said that the nature of their position demanded that they were too closely review the material before sending it to the competent authorities for further analysis. However, the two former Microsoft employees added that, throughout their employment, they had been exposed to vilest, twisted, and unbearable imagery every to be conceived by human imagination, which resulted in them being diagnosed with a severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
In their testimony, Blauert and Soto also mentioned that they were unable to shake off the disturbing content they were exposed to, having horrific nightmares, and hallucinations.
Of course, before making an appeal before a Court of law, the employees tried to brought this issue to their employee’s attention. Instead of taking ample measures, the company offered them a Wellness Program, which included psychotherapy and various activities.
However, the ex-employees declared that the psychologist in charge of the program was not qualified to deal with their condition, and that, throughout the program, he would often encourage them to take lengthy smoke breaks, walk around the building, or to play more video games.
On the other hand, Microsoft has its own version of the story. In a press interview, a spokesperson from Microsoft declared that the company is as dedicated to maintaining the quality of its services as it is to make sure that its employees are healthy and capable of carrying out their work.
The spokesperson also mentioned that all material flagged as inappropriate by the company’s algorithms are not explicit. He added that the company uses a technology which can reduce the material’s level of realism. This means that the team in charge of reviewing the material will only view a small part of the picture, sending the rest to the proper authorities.
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