Former TikTok content moderator is suing social media giant and its parent company, ByteDance, for allegedly failing to take steps to protect her mental health after her watched countless hours of traumatic videos involving cannibalism, rape, animal mutilation and suicide, among many other disturbing activities.
In the proposed class action lawsuit, Candie Frazier, who worked for a third party contracting company, stated that TikTok moderators are working at an exhausting pace and they are must watch hundreds of videos a day with a few breaks, according to Bloomberg. The moderators work 12-hour shifts, Frazier explained, and have only one hour free for lunch and two 15-minute breaks.
Despite long shifts, moderators often have to watch multiple videos at once, ranging from three to 10, and review only 25 seconds of each video, she said. ByteDance is keeping a close eye on the moderator’s performance, the Verge reported and “severely punishes any time taken away from watching explicit videos”.
The lawsuit alleges that TikTok did not adhere to industry standards for the protection of content moderators, which includes offering frequent breaks and psychological support, Verge explained. Frazier also claims thatTikTok has failed to implement technical protection measures, such as blurring or reducing the video resolution that moderators must watch.
Because of her work as a content moderator, Frazier said she has developed panic attacks and depression, as well as symptoms associated with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also has trouble sleeping and suffers from horrible nightmares when she manages to oversleep the content she is watching.
Frazier demands that TikTok pay her and others for the psychological injuries they suffered. In addition, she wants the court to force the company to set up a medical fund for content moderators.
Gizmodo contacted TikTok on Sunday to comment on the lawsuit, but did not receive a response until the announcement. We will definitely update this article if we receive a response.
Recently statement for Bloomberg, a spokesman for the social media giant said he was not commenting on the ongoing lawsuits. However, TikTok is working hard “to promote a caring work environment for our employees and contractors.”
“Our security team works with third-party companies to critically work to help protect the TikTok platform and community, and we continue to expand a range of wellness services so that moderators feel mentally and emotionally supported,” the spokesman said.