An ex-TikTok moderator, who was paid $10 a day and had to scroll through child abuse and gun violence, was required to keep her webcam on all night, report says

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

TBIJ spoke to nine moderators who shared their experience but requested that their identity remained secret for fear they might lose their jobs, or risk future employment prospects. All names have been changed, according to the outlet.

Carolina, a former TikTok moderator who worked remotely for Teleperformance, a Paris-based company offering moderation services and earned $10 a day, said she had to keep her camera continuously on during her night shift, TBIJ reported. The company also told her that no one should be in view of the camera and was only allowed a drink in a transparent cup on her desk.

Carolina said the situation was "terrible" because she lived with her family. "So I felt very guilty telling them, 'please don't pass behind the camera because I could be fired.' Teleperformance is especially paranoid with people seeing what we do."

A TikTok spokesperson told Insider in a statement: "We strive to promote a caring working environment for our employees and contractors. Our Trust and 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."

Neither TikTok nor Teleperformance responded to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism's detailed list of allegations. Teleperformance, which has more than 42,000 workers in Colombia, did not respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Current moderators shared with TBIJ that they had to clock in and out and log any breaks on an app called Timekeeper – but they didn't confirm whether they had to work with their cameras on. 

Another former TikTok moderator, Carlos, told TBIJ it was a video of child sexual abuse that had traumatized him. The video showed a girl of five or six years old: "She was dancing, like pointing her back to the camera, it was so close."

Luis, 28, worked night shifts moderating videos for TikTok. He listed to the outlet the kind of content he sees regularly: "Murder, suicide, pedophilia, pornographic content, accidents, cannibalism."

He recalled seeing one video taken at a party, with two people holding what initially looked like pieces of meat. When they turned around, it appeared they were holding skin and gristle flayed off human faces. "The worst thing was that the friends were playing games and started using the human faces as masks," Luis said.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism


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