Former TikTok content moderator files lawsuit for ‘psychological trauma’ – TechCrunch

A pair of former TikTok content reviewers are suing the company, alleging that it failed to adequately support them when they engaged in the deeply troubling work of removing objectionable videos from the social network. . NPR First time reporting the casewhich Fifth filing in federal court.

Plaintiffs Ashley Velez and Reece Young both contract moderators for TikTok through third-party companies — Canadian tech company Telus International and a New York-based company called Atrium, respectively. . Velez and Young are seeking class action status, which would allow other TikTok content moderators to allege that they were negatively impacted by the actions of the participating companies.

The lawsuit alleges that TikTok and ByteDance violated California labor law by not providing Velez and Young with adequate mental health support despite the mental health risks resulting from “unlawfully hazardous activities.” often” that they have to participate in on a daily basis. It also claimed that the companies pushed moderators to review large volumes of extreme content to hit quotas and then amplified that harm by forcing them to sign NDAs so they couldn’t discuss what’s going on. what they viewed legally.

“Defendants failed to provide a safe workplace for the thousands of contractors who were gatekeepers between the unfiltered, objectionable and offensive content uploaded to the App and the hundreds of millions of users of the App. used every day,” the lawsuit states. It alleges that despite knowing the psychological risks of long-term exposure to such hurtful content, TikTok and ByteDance made no effort to put in place “appropriate supportive measures” to help workers deal with extremist content after the incident.

The suit describes how both plaintiffs spent twelve hours a business day reviewing extreme, disturbing content, including “child molestation, rape, torture, bestiality, beheading , suicide and murder.” In addition to the objectionable content, the lawsuit describes how Velez and Young were also repeatedly exposed to hate speech and conspiracy theories that also had a negative impact on their mental health. Another TikTok content moderator, Candie Frazier, filed a similar lawsuit in Decemberalthough NPR reports that case is no longer ongoing.

New TikTok lawsuit follows class action lawsuit that same legal team against Facebook in 2018. The company settled that lawsuit two years later with an agreement to pay $52 million to more than 11,000 moderators who had struggled with mental health due to the content they were tasked with classifying. day.

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