Teleperformance, a decades-old global company that has moderated content for TikTok, was recently investigated by lawmakers for misusing illegal child sexual abuse material.
Teleperformance, which launched its Trust & Safety arm just three years ago, which helps social media giants like TikTok police content on their platforms, announced on Thursday that it is partially exiting the space.
The company has recently come under scrutiny forbes The investigation revealed major missteps in moderating content for TikTok — namely, the misuse of illegal child sexual abuse material that had been removed from that platform. That forbes The report drew concerns about both companies from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Commerce’s powerful consumer protection panel, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, who demanded responses from Teleperformance and its client. The Colombian Ministry of Labor also launched an investigation into Teleperformance this month after a separate report detailed the horrific and dangerous working conditions for moderators at Teleperformance.
Teleperformance cited investor pressure as the reason for exiting “the most egregious part of the trust and security business.” It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether that means Teleperformance is ceasing all — or just some — of its content moderation work and whether it’s ceasing all work with TikTok.
“After reflecting on the consistent feedback received over the past few days from a large majority of shareholders and the financial community regarding the perception of its trust and security business, Teleperformance has decided to divest itself of the most egregious part of the trust and security business to withdraw,” the company said in a statement Thursday, referring to its content moderation efforts.
“As a public company that has always considered the perspectives of its shareholders, Teleperformance has decided it was the right thing to do to exit the highly egregious segment of Trust & Safety,” the memo continued.
Teleperformance did not immediately respond to a forbes Ask about the type of feedback she received from investors. The statement also said that Teleperformance “will work with its customers to explore suitable alternatives for its current business in this space.” Neither Teleperformance nor TikTok responded immediately forbes‘ Soliciting input on how this will impact the companies’ content moderation partnership.
Whitney Turner, a former Teleperformance content host for TikTok who raised concerns with the FBI last summer about both companies’ handling of child sex abuse material, said forbes She wasn’t surprised by the decision.
“It only makes sense with all the gross negligence that has taken place,” she said forbes in a text message.