Moderator sues TikTok for not protecting her mental health while watching hours of ‘traumatic videos’

A former content moderator for social media juggernaut TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the company and its parent company, ByteDance, after she developed symptoms of anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and more, after being made to watch endless hours of disturbing video content for her job.

Candie Frazier, who worked as a third-party contractor for TikTok, claims in her lawsuit that during her 12-hour shifts, she was forced by grueling company policy to watch several traumatic videos at a time, including footage of cannibalism, animal mutilation, suicides, and more.

Frazier says the moderators are only allowed to watch seconds of each video, and are punished for doing any activity besides watching the content, which maximizes the amount of disturbing footage each moderator has to watch in a day. TikTok’s 10,000 moderators get a one-hour lunch break and two fifteen-minute breaks during each 12-hour shift.

Frazier’s class action complaint alleges ByteDance failed to meet industry standards of mental health support for its content moderators, including more frequent breaks, or blurring the videos or using lower resolution to protect the mental health of those workers forced to watch as part of their jobs.

TikTok issued a statement to Bloomberg it does not comment on ongoing litigation, but strives “to promote a caring working environment for our employees and contractors.” Frazier’s suit seeks payment to the affected employees for psychological damage, and the creation of a company-wide mental health fund for TikTok’s content moderators.

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