According to recent reports, the Chinese short-form video app, TikTok reportedly trains its moderators by showing them child sexual abuse content. According to Forbes, a largely unsecured cache of child sexual abuse content has been made available to third-party TikTok content moderators as a reference guide.
TikTok Does Not Have the Consent to Save This Child Sexual Abuse Content
“These parents don’t know that we have this picture, this video, this trauma, this crime saved. If parents knew that, I’m pretty sure they would burn TikTok down,” Whitney Turner, former moderator for TikTok, was quoted as saying in the report that came out on Friday. Turner worked for third-party moderation company Teleperformance’s TikTok program in El Paso, Texas.
She was given access to a shared spreadsheet “filled with material determined to be violative of TikTok’s community guidelines, including hundreds of images of children who were naked or being abused”. The document called Daily Required Reading (DRR) “was widely accessible to employees at Teleperformance and TikTok as recently as this summer”.
“The DRR and other training materials were stored in Lark, internal workplace software developed by TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance,” the report noted. Whitney even reported the usage of child sexual abuse content to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but to no avail. A TikTok spokesperson said the “training materials have strict access controls and do not include visual examples of CSAM (child sexual abuse material)”.
Teleperformance Has Denied Using Any of the Abusive Material
However, the spokesperson said that it works with third-party firms “who may have their own processes”. Teleperformance also denied that it showed employees any child sexual abuse content. The report mentioned that Teleperformance showed employees graphic photos and videos as examples of what to tag on TikTok. “I have a daughter, and I don’t think it’s right—just a bunch of strangers watching this,” another former Teleperformance employee Nasser was quoted as saying.