Inside of TikTok’s dystopian Chinese censorship device

Inside TikTok’s dystopian Chinese censorship machine

Nor does censorship show up to have stayed in China. Investigative journalists have unearthed inside paperwork suggesting that TikTok explained to its moderators during 2019 to suppress movies by customers with an “irregular human body shape”, “as well quite a few wrinkles” or “eye diseases”.

The stage, reportedly, was to make positive that new customers were being sucked into the application by attractive folks, alternatively than becoming turned off by “unsightly” or “low quality” options.

One more investigation discovered that TikTok had a plan of systematically suppressing video clips showcasing disabled folks (these types of as these with “autism”, “Down’s syndrome” or “facial disfigurement”), ostensibly to end them from currently being bullied. A single person in Germany, who experienced been branded a “specific person”, identified as the practice “discriminatory” and “inhuman”.

Then there were being the political suggestions, which reportedly censored Western movies mentioning the Tienanmen Square massacre, Tibetan independence or the anti-Communist Falun Gong religious sect.

TikTok responded mentioned that most of these documents were out of day or no longer in power. In a several conditions it claimed to have no report of them. It explained the politics and incapacity pointers as remaining “blunt” or early attempts to limit conflict on the assistance, which afterwards gave way to far more “nuanced” solutions. 

So how considerably of Douyin’s censorship and checking carries over into TikTok? Does TikTok also use facial recognition? If so, in what means? In other phrases, how nervous need to Western customers be?

A spokesman for TikTok declined to response all those distinct concerns, only declaring: “TikTok requires the security of our young consumers very seriously. We have strict principles from consumers underneath 16 taking part in are living streaming. 

“In addition to age gating, we also count on human moderators who consider components that clearly point out customers are beneath 16, these types of as info people set in their general public bios that may well contradict what they have offered when they signed up.

“TikTok has in no way delivered consumer info to the Chinese govt, nor would we if questioned to do so.”

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.

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