Two former TikTok moderators, Reece Young and Ashley Velez have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status against the video-sharing app, TikTok, and its parent company, ByteDance. The lawsuit against TikTok accuses the platform of negligence and violating labour laws in California.
The lawsuit against TikTok for inducing work trauma
The two content moderators, Reece Young and Ashley Velez worked for the social video platform last year as contractors, where they were asked to view hours of disturbing footage that incorporates many acts of extreme and graphic violence, including murder, bestiality, necrophilia and other disturbing images. Velez said; “We would see death and graphic pornography. I would see nude underage children every day. I would see people get shot in the face, and another video of a kid getting beaten made me cry for two hours straight.”
According to the lawsuit, Young and Velez were exposed to an unsafe work environment because TikTok did not provide adequate mental health exposure to deal with the anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress associated with reviewing graphic videos. Steve Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, who filed the case, said; “You see TikTok challenges, and things that seem fun and light, but most don’t know about this other dark side TikTok that these folks are helping the rest of us never see.”
Facebook to pay $52 million to content moderators suffering from PTSD
This is not the first time employees have spoken up against their company. Back in 2020, Facebook paid over $52 million to former employees who developed PTSD during the job. As per reports, the settlement covers more than 11,000 content moderators who developed depression, addictions and other mental health issues while they worked moderating content on the social media platform.