Moderator sues TikTok for failing to protect her mental health

Illustration: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

A former content moderator for TikTok is suing the social media giant and parent company ByteDance for allegedly failing to take steps to protect her mental health after watching countless hours of traumatic videos including cannibalism, rape, animal mutilation and suicides. lots of other disruptive activities.

In the proposed class action lawsuit, Candie Frazier, who worked for a… third contracting company, stated that TikTok moderators work at a grueling pace and are required to review hundreds of videos a day with few breaks, according to Bloomberg. Moderators work 12-hour shifts, Frazier explained, and only get an hour off for lunch and two 15-minute breaks.

Despite the long shifts, moderators often have to watch multiple videos at once, ranging from three to 10, and watch only 25 seconds of each video, she said. ByteDance keeps a close eye on the performance of the moderators, the edge reported, and “severely penalizes any moment taken away from viewing graphic videos.”

The lawsuit alleges that TikTok failed to adhere to industry standards to protect content moderators, including offering frequent breaks and psychological support, The Verge explained. Frazier also claims that TikTok has failed to implement technical security measures, such as blurring or reducing the resolution of videos that moderators are required to watch.

Because of her work as a content moderator, Frazier said she has developed panic attacks and depression, as well as symptoms related to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also has trouble sleeping and has terrible nightmares if she manages to sleep on the content she has watched.

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Frazier wants TikTok to pay her and others for the psychological injuries they sustained. She also wants the court to force the company to establish a medical fund for content moderators.

Gizmodo contacted TikTok on Sunday for comment on the lawsuit, but received no response at the time of publication. We’ll make sure to update this article if we hear anything.

In a recent statement to Bloomberg, a spokesperson for the social media giant said it will not comment on pending lawsuits. However, TikTok works hard “to promote a caring work environment for our employees and contractors.”

“Our security team is partnering with outside companies on the critical work to help protect the TikTok platform and community, and we continue to expand a range of wellness services to help moderators feel mentally and emotionally supported,” the spokesperson said.

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