Lawsuit Says TikTok Moderator Has PTSD From Watching 'Graphic' Content on the Social Media Platform

Credit: TikTok
Credit: TikTok

The plaintiff alleges she developed PTSD, anxiety, and depression from the volume of graphic videos she watched, according to the lawsuit.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against social media platform TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. Inc. on behalf of a content moderator who says she "suffers from significant psychological trauma" and developed post-traumatic stress syndrome due to extended exposure to disturbing footage she had to watch for the company, Fox News reported.

Attorneys for named plaintiff Candie Frazer filed a lawsuit Dec. 23, claiming she and other moderators have been forced to "witness thousands of acts of extreme and graphic violence" in the course of their work, Fox News reported.

Some of the “acts of extreme and graphic violence” included in the lawsuit were "the genocide in Myanmar, mass shootings, children being raped,” as well as beheadings, Fox News reported.

The lawsuit says Frazer, who Bloomberg reported lives in Las Vegas, “has trouble sleeping and when she does sleep, she has horrific nightmares.”

Some of the shifts that the moderators worked lasted an average of 12 hours a day, with reportedly only an hour off for lunch and two 15-minute breaks, according to the complaint filed in a Los Angeles federal court, Bloomberg reported.

“Due to the sheer volume of content, content moderators are permitted no more than 25 seconds per video, and simultaneously view three to ten videos at the same time,” her lawyers said in the complaint.

The suit also alleges that ByteDance and TikTok have not implemented industry-wide safety standards, such as disabling audio, minimizing, or blurring parts of the disturbing content and  alleges that the companies do not provide adequate mental health support, Business Insider reported.

Inside Edition Digital has reached out to TikTok for comment and a spokesperson said it doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation, but strives “to promote a caring working environment for our 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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to Inside Edition Digital.

The lawsuit is asking for compensatory damages as well as mental health screening for current and former moderators of TikTok content, Fox News reported.

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