‘Every Day Is a Nightmare, but We Must Survive’: The Inside Story of TikTok African Content Moderators

‘Every Day Is a Nightmare, but We Must Survive’: The Inside Story of TikTok African Content Moderators

  • Some Tiktok African moderators have provided inside information about the mental toll of the work
  • They described how they spent hours reviewing graphic content to see whether it met the social media platform's rules
  • Despite the harrowing experience and the daily nightmares that ensue, their pay is significantly less than those of their European and Asian peers

A report from Business Insider has revealed that African Content moderators for TikTok are faced with poor working conditions and mental health concerns.

The Job of the African Content moderators is to view graphic unsavory videos posted by TikTok users for hours to ensure they are kept off the platform.

In the last few years, TikTok has become one of Africa's favourite social media platforms, with an estimated 3m users from Nigeria.

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Tiktok Africa content moderators
Tiktok Africa content creators facing tough times at work Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill
Source: Getty Images

These users daily create contents which are moderated by some persons to ensure it meets TikTok organisation standard.

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Despite how important their job is, importance to ensuring sanity, some of the African content moderators who spoke to Business Insider detailed how they are left to battle with trauma with what they watch users post and daily fight to stop it from happening getting to the public.

The trauma is further compounded by poor pay compared to their counterparts in Europe and Asia doing the same job.

Imani, from Morroco, says he has worked as a TikTok content moderator for just over two years and still works there.

Her job is to review posts on the platform - which can contain graphic violence, exploitation, extremism, and abuse.

She revealed how it has been tough for her, especially watching videos on animal cruelty posted daily.

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"I love cats, i have watched a video of how a user threw a cat into the air before impaling it on a sword. I'd never imagined I'd see such a scene in real life. It's not a movie. It's not a joke. It's real.
"The video has never left me and it is over two year, I constantly remember it especially when I am not working."

The report also revealed that Nine current and former content moderators also complained of severe psychological distress as a result of their jobs.

Samira, 23, joined Majorel in July 2020 as a part of a pilot program moderating TikTok Lives.

She revealed that she started with reviewing 200 videos every hour while maintaining an accuracy score of 95%, which was calculated by how close her tags were to those of more senior content moderators who watched the same videos.

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But three months into her job, her manager increased those metrics so much that she only had 10 seconds to review a video.

According to her,

"The new goals were impossible to meet. "Management did not consider us as humans, but rather as robots"

Another employee added

"The devil of this job is that you get sick slowly — without even noticing it, You think it's not a big deal, but it does affect you."

Poor pay

According to data from Glassdoor, an online vacancy website, the estimated total pay for a Content Moderator at TikTok is $24 per hour in the US.

However, for Imani and others working from Africa, she said pay is only $2 per hour despite doing the same job.

Imani works for Tiktok through Majorel, an outsourcing company based in Luxembourg.

More complains

Other employees shared their experiences of being forced to work under tough conditions and lacking proper mental health care.

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They also noted that TikTok moderators at Majorel receive fewer breaks than their US counterparts.

Majorel however has denied the allegation nothing that various counselling sessions on mental health are in place, including flexible working hours.

Trouble for school children as Abia teachers begin indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries, others

Meanwhile, School teachers in Abia state had taken a firm decision to embark on strike action over the government's inability to treat them fairly

The teachers accused the Abia state government of owing them several months of salary arrears and their entitlements

For their leave allowances, the teachers said the last time they received such payments was in 2008

Among other demands made by the teachers is the improvement of the learning environment for school children in the state

Source: Legit.ng

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