Supporting digital key workers: Addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article


Martellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Spence, R. and DeMarco, J. 2024. Supporting digital key workers: Addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management. 24 (2), pp. 212-228. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTPM.2024.137818
TypeArticle
TitleSupporting digital key workers: Addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
AuthorsMartellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Spence, R. and DeMarco, J.
Abstract

Content moderators (CMs) are private or state sector professionals responsible for inspecting user-generated content and applying policies to decide whether contentious content should remain online or be removed. CMs were required to review an unprecedented increase of illegal content during the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing evidence, although mostly anecdotal, suggests that frequent exposure to such content affects CM’s well-being, mental health, and quality of life, as well as their work competence, satisfaction, and productivity. This study utilises (N = 9) in-depth qualitative interviews with CMs which explored the impact of this work in the exceptional and challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this paper is to critically explore what lessons can be learned from CM’s experiences at work and how they coped with the difficulties created by COVID-19. This research will in turn assist organisations to identify what is needed to improve conditions and mental well-being in the workplace.

Keywordscontent moderators; social media; tech industry; labour conditions; digital first responders; COVID-19; CSAM; lockdown; work from home; mental well-being
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
Research GroupCentre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherInderscience
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Policy and Management
ISSN1468-4322
Electronic1741-5292
Publication dates
Online05 Apr 2024
PrintJan 2024
Publication process dates
Submitted11 Apr 2023
Accepted06 Jul 2023
Deposited14 Sep 2023
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

Copyright © The Author(s) 2024. Published by Inderscience Publishers Ltd. This is an Open Access Article
distributed under the CC BY license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTPM.2024.137818
https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTPM.2024.10058414
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