TikTok policy changed - More towards authoritarianism

When an application is owned by a China-based company then you can only expect authoritarianism and totalitarian.

That’s what is happening on TikTok! Because of being owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, its moderators are told to hide all posts of the users in which shabby environment and cracked walls are show. Besides, they are ordered that if users are looking ugly or poor or if they have abnormal body figure, abnormal eyes, disability then remove their content because it would not appeal new users towards the application.

Moreover, as spotted by TheIntercept, the moderators are given documents in which it is mentioned to remove and ban all live streams and videos in which there is anything against the civil servants and national interests. However, the spokesperson of the app, Josh Gartner, dismissed all the reports of The Intercept and said that they all are no more in use and many of the guidelines and rules of the document were never in use. The spokesperson further said that there were guidelines to hide ugly and poor posts but it was blunt and it was made to prevent bullying on TikTok.

However, the online news publication said that there was not any word “bullying” in the document but there was mentioned that steps would be taken to increase the viewership and make the app appealing for new users.

ByteDance is Beijing-based company which was established in 2012. The company has relations with Communist Party of China. Therefore, it has been applying numerous techniques of suppression.

The company has been using different techniques to increase the viewership. Its members are assigned to share videos from Facebook and other platforms which are watched the most. Besides, it arrange meetings with TikTok influencers so that they would not make any video which would be against the rules and regulations of the application and the company. The company have regular conferences with them but the spokesperson did not give any comment on it.

It is observed that moderators ban the users who have made that defame the politicians. The company has removed videos related to Tiananmen Square and ban the users permanently. Besides, the ByteDance reduced the audience of LGBT and overweight users by not showing their videos in "For You" section. It is still very mysterious what is criteria of TikTok and ByteDance to select videos to put into the category. The team has mentioned 64 infractions which are divided into 13 categories. Each consists of penalty and guidelines. The document was firstly made in Chines and then translated into English to send in all offices of TikTok for implementation.

Photo: SOPA Images via Getty Images

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