TikTok, one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, is under fire for its handling of child abuse allegations

A Forbes report raises questions about how TikTok’s moderation team handled child sexual abuse material. It claims it granted broad, insecure access to illegal photos and videos.

Employees of a third-party moderation outfit, teleperformance, claim it asked them to review a disturbing spreadsheet. The spreadsheet allegedly contained content that violated TikTok’s guidelines, including’hundreds of images’ of children who were nude or being abused. Hundreds of people at TikTok and teleperformance could access the content from both inside and outside the office – opening the door to a broader leak.

Teleperformance denied to Forbes that it showed employees sexually exploitative content. Tiktok said its training materials have’strict access controls and do not include visual examples of csam’.

Child abuse imagery is unlawful in the US and must be handled carefully. Companies are supposed to report the content to the National Center for missing and Exploited children. Companies should preserve the content for 90 days but minimize the number of people who see it.

Teleperformance showed employees graphic photos and videos as examples of what to tag on TikTok. One employee says she contacted the FBI to ask whether the practice constituted criminally spreading csam.

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