Tiktok Sued by Former In-House Moderator for Neglecting Employees’ Mental Health 

Tiktok sued by former in-house moderator for neglecting employees’ mental health 

Ex-TikTok video moderator is accusing parent company, ByteDance, of failing to take care of their employees’ mental wellbeing against a nearly endless barrage of traumatic footage viewed and filtered out daily throughout long working hours.  

Candie Frazier was subjected to viewing hours of disturbing content, including mass shootings, animal mutilation, child rape, suicide, cannibalism, gang violence, murder, and other hellish sites.  

With 12-hour long shifts, overwhelmingly high content volume, and little time for breaks, Frazier said she began to experience “severe psychological trauma including depression and symptoms associated with anxiety and PTSD.”   

The plaintiff laments that she and her colleagues were often compelled to simultaneously watch multiple videos to keep up with the unending demand and the constant surge of video content.  

The employees who work with the media giant through a third-party company, Telus International, said that they are given only a 15-minute break in the first four hours of their shift followed by a 15-minute break every two hours, as well as a one-hour lunch break.  

Now, Frazier is pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant in the California Central District.  

The lawsuit detailed that the ex-moderator had “trouble sleeping, and when she does sleep, she has horrific nightmares. She often lays awake at night trying to go to sleep, replaying videos that she has seen in her mind. She has severe and debilitating panic attacks.”  

When asked about the case, a TikTok spokesperson informed The Verge that the Beijing-based company is planning to “promote a caring working environment for all of its employees and contractors.”  

“Our safety team partners with third-party firms on the critical work of helping to protect the TikTok platform and community, and we continue to expand on a range of wellness services so that moderators feel supported mentally and emotionally,” the spokesperson said.   

The lawsuit declares that TikTok and its partners have failed to meet the proper standards for safeguarding employees’ wellbeing. These standards include better break times, availability of psychological support, as well as addressing more technical issues, such as blurring images containing graphic footage before being presented to the moderators.