It took me 2 months to recover from working as a TikTok moderator

  • An ex-TikTok moderator employed by Majorelle said the job made her feel burned out and depressed.
  • He was paid less than $7 an hour and said he reviewed about 1,000 videos per day.
  • This essay is based on a conversation with an unnamed former Majorelle employee, As told to reporter Rosie Bradbury.

As mentioned this essay is based on a conversation with a former TikTok moderator. He spoke anonymously as he signed a strict confidentiality agreement prior to training. The insider confirmed his identity and salary with documents. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

We couldn’t say “tiktok”. They were always “customers”. Among my work friends, it was “TikTok”, but officially, it was always “client”.

I worked for Majorelle, one of the companies that TikTok uses to outsource its content moderation. I was the moderator of TikTok’s Spanish and Latin American regional content for more than two years.

At first I liked it; It was interesting to watch the video. But after a few months, every day became the same, always the same. After a year, I started developing symptoms of burnout.

The goals the company set for moderators were about 1,000-odd videos per day. Even after the news that Tiktok had added videos of five minutes or more, they did not optimize their goals. I didn’t want to work. I was sad I saw Majoral’s on-site psychologist who was part of its Bevel program.

I quit Majorelle about four months ago, and it took me at least a month or two to recover. I feel much better now. The tension and depression persisted after I quit, then I feared losing my new job for a stupid thing. With TikTok, you can lose your job on just one video. We are not robots; We can lose our concentration. If it happens too many times that the moderator has a video on their screen that should be tagged with an important tag – porn, suicide, death – but the moderator doesn’t tag anything, and they are fired. I’m only starting to see that my new company is different.

By the time I left, every member of my team was gone except one. Everyone else had changed jobs after a year or so. People don’t last very long at that job.

We sometimes had to work seven days in a row; The company will decide all our shifts. We were a big team, so there was no need to do this; Not in this kind of job where you need to be mentally clear. you should rest. Every shift, I watch maybe five or ten gross videos that no one wants to see. When you see a lot of people working sick, it affects you a lot.

Indeed, even the psychologist said he had to work for seven or more days straight. When my psychologist told me, I was like, “What the fuck?” Because you have to help other people, and you can’t do that well if you have to work that much. It makes no sense at all. ,Editor’s Note: Majorelle said its employees approve shifts and days off with managers in advance, and they can only work continuously for a maximum of six days.,

The worst I saw was a repost from a Facebook Live video of a boy who died by suicide with a gun. It was very bloody, and we got to watch all the content without any kind of blurring or censorship.

Every day a lot of people used to cry when I was in the office. You can imagine how hard it is; I think the job affects at least half the team. For some people it is very difficult.

When we started working from home, the content was as graphic as it was when we were in the office. They started a Bewell program where we had one-to-one sessions with psychologists that we had weekly or monthly depending on the individual. It was a great idea: my psychologist helped me a lot. Some people thought they didn’t need it or that it was useless, but for me it was really cool.

Tiktok was continuously announcing new policies. They set one thing a day, then reverse it later. I don’t think they even know what they are doing.

I was making about 1,100 euros per month, or $1,180 depending on tax and if we had work on any holidays. It was too low. It’s not the minimum wage, but it’s not a very good salary here in Barcelona.

The pay was especially bad considering the mentally challenging job, so I think we deserve more money than that.

In the office, it was nice because we had contact with our team, and we chatted a little bit, and we had fun. Working from home, sometimes even having meetings is not the case. Even though we chat a lot, it’s not the same.

And you’re in a WhatsApp group, so even on your vacation, you can’t completely disconnect.

Even though the company is crap, the people working there, at least a vast majority of them, are nice. We have no problem with our team managers; They were always very helpful and helped a lot.

If I could have worked there for that long, it was because I had friends to talk to during the workday, as spending eight hours moderating a constant stream of video could not support any kind. would be impossible without as we gave to each other.

Because to the company, you feel like you’re just another number.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “Our trust and security team partner with third-party firms on the important job of helping to protect the TikTok platform and community, and we are committed to providing a caring job for our employees and contractors. We strive to foster the atmosphere. We continue to develop ways to help moderators feel supported mentally and emotionally.”

Carsten König, EVP Global Clients and Practice Lead at Majorelle, said: “The health and well-being of our content moderators in Barcelona is our number one priority. We demonstrate this by providing 24/7 professional psychological support every day. High praise from our people Comprehensive suite of health and wellness initiatives to achieve […] We know that providing a safe and supportive work environment for our content moderators is the key to providing excellent services for our clients and their clients.”