A TikTok content moderator has accused the company in a Dec. 23 lawsuit of failing to provide a safe work environment for her and her colleagues as they are allegedly forced to watch various graphic and disturbing videos ranging from genocide and mass shootings to COVID-19 conspiracy theories and Holocaust denials.

The following day, Canadian company Telus International, which contracts with TikTok to provide content moderation services, placed Candie Frazier on leave and confiscated her work equipment, the Miami Herald reported.

Her legal representative, Steven Williams of Joseph Saveri Law Firm, said Telus sent staff members on Christmas Eve to confiscate her laptop and other work-related devices. Williams said it’s not clear if his client's forced leave from the company will be paid.

“We believe that this type of retaliation against a whistleblower who is speaking out for the health and safety of TikTok’s content moderators is inappropriate, and call upon TikTok to immediately restore Ms. Frazier to her prior job responsibilities,” Williams explained.

Williams also moved to slam the slow legal process, noting "it’s a shame people can be harmed so quickly and have to wait so long.”

According to the suit filed in the Central District of California, Telus' content moderators for TikTok have to watch graphic videos flagged for review for about 12 hours a day, the Sacramento Bee noted.

Every workday, moderators are only given two 15-minute and one-hour lunch breaks from reviewing videos of violence, including beheadings, cannibalism, animal cruelty, and child sex abuse, which caused Frazier her PTSD.

“Plaintiff has trouble sleeping and when she does sleep, she has horrific nightmares," part of the paperwork reads per the Daily Beast. "She often lays awake at night trying to go to sleep, replaying videos that she has seen in her mind.”

The plaintiff is now seeking to represent other content moderators whose mental health has similarly suffered due to the nature of their work, naming TikTok Inc. and its Chinese parent company ByteDance Inc. as defendants in the case.

In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson declined to comment on pending litigation but said it “strive(s) 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,” they added.

However, according to the complaint, Telus International content moderators don’t get any “psychological support,” including adequate wellness time or counseling.

A TikTok star, her mother, and three others were arrested and charged with the murder of two men who died in an alleged car chase in Leicestershire, England, on Friday, Feb. 11. This is a representational image. antonbe/ Pixabay

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