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TikTok drops ‘blunt’ cyberbullying policy

HONG KONG: TikTok has dropped a “blunt” cyberbullying coverage, the Chinese language-owned video sharing app stated Dec four after a report it hid posts by disabled, homosexual and chubby individuals.

Folks deemed “vulnerable to harassment or cyberbullying based mostly on their bodily or psychological situation” had the attain of their posts restricted, German web site NetzPolitik.org reported, citing leaked paperwork from Tiktok.

Folks with facial disfigurements, autism and Down syndrome had been amongst these to have their posts dumped down TikTok’s algorithm so others on the social community wouldn’t see them, the report stated.

Homosexual and chubby individuals “additionally ended up on a listing of ‘particular customers’ whose movies had been considered a bullying danger by default and capped of their attain”, the report stated.

When requested concerning the report, TikTok informed AFP on Dec four that it now recognised “the method was fallacious” and stated it had dropped the coverage.

“Early on, in response to a rise in bullying on the app, we applied a blunt and non permanent coverage. This was by no means designed to be a long-term answer, however fairly a method to assist handle a troubling development,” a TikTok spokesman stated.

“Whereas the intention was good, it grew to become clear that the method was fallacious and now we have since eliminated the coverage in favour of extra nuanced anti-bullying insurance policies and in-app protections.”

TikTok didn’t reply to a follow-up question concerning the specifics of the coverage. It didn’t say when the coverage was dropped.

Nonetheless, in keeping with NetzPolitik.org, the restrictions might contain limiting posts to a neighborhood fairly than international viewers.

These deemed most susceptible had their posts put in a “not advocate” class in order that they had been made almost invisible, it stated.

“Strictly talking, such movies usually are not deleted – however actually they hardly have an viewers,” the report stated.

Tiktok, launched by Chinese language firm ByteDance in September 2017, has shortly develop into one of the vital widespread social networks on this planet, with younger individuals its major market.

In November, the app hit 1.5 billion downloads worldwide, outperforming Instagram.

Customers sometimes put up brief clips of themselves performing skits, lip-syncing and dancing.

However TikTok has come underneath scrutiny not too long ago over whether or not it censors content material deemed delicate by China’s authoritarian rulers.

Final week, it apologised for eradicating a viral video that condemned Beijing’s crackdown on Muslims within the western Chinese language area of Xinjiang.

A college pupil in California this month filed a class-action lawsuit towards TikTok, accusing it of harvesting massive quantities of person information and storing it in China.

US senators have additionally warned that TikTok’s proprietor ByteDance might be compelled to share person data with Chinese language intelligence.

TikTok stated in an announcement in October its operations weren’t influenced by the Chinese language authorities. – AFP

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