Microsoft Staff Forced to Watch Child Porn and Bestiality, now Suing Company

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Microsoft Staff Forced to Watch Child Porn and Bestiality, now Suing Company Microsoft CES 2009 Ben Franske/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Two Microsoft employees were reportedly made to view images of murder, child pornography and bestiality. Now, they have sued the company for psychological damages.

Microsoft: Violent Images

Henry Soto and Greg Blauert were allegedly made to watch such images as part of their “online safety” job. The two employees later developed post-traumatic stress disorder. According to them, Microsoft was incapable of warning them about the dangers of the job. In addition, the company failed to offer them psychological support.

Soto and Blauert sued the company in King County Court on December 30. They are accusing the company of showing negligence, disability discrimination and violations of the Consumer Protection Act, as pointed out by Court House News.

Soto and Blauert were customer service workers employed in Microsoft’s online safety program. The two were responsible for reporting any content that should be taken off or reported to law enforcement.

The pair said they were never informed about the horrific psychological impacts of the job. They never knew it would include viewing child pornography. Most shockingly, they were not permitted to turn down the assignment.

“Plaintiffs Henry Soto and Greg Blauert were not warned about the likely dangerous impact of reviewing the depictions nor were they warned they may become so concerned with the welfare of the children,” the complaint said. “They would not appreciate the harm the toxic images would cause them and their families.”

However, after everything, the company did not provide trained therapists for the safety team. In contrast, it developed a “Wellness Program” that advises disturbed staffs to take “walks and smoking breaks.” They were also advised to redirect thoughts by playing video games, according to the two complainants, as per The Daily Beast.

Microsoft: Company’s Anti-Child Porn Tool

A tool by the company has been used multiple times in social media to fight child pornography. Currently, the company is providing the tool for free.

PhotoDNA, the software, stops the act of uploading child pornography to a website. The company launched a cloud version of the software, and almost seventy international companies are using it. CNN reported that currently, online service providers and businesses hosting user-generated content may also apply for the service.

“The tool has amazing accuracy, and it has enabled us to find problematic content faster than ever before,” Facebook once wrote in a blog post. “And, because PhotoDNA has been so effective for us, we encourage other sites that allow photo uploads to use it as well.”

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