TikTok discussion thread

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TikTok discussion thread
« on: December 08, 2019, 01:42:30 PM »
Inspired by the cat thread. Let's talk about TikTok and their involvement with the Chinese government.

Let's start with the basics. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a chinese AI research company. Not a media company, not team of social media experts, an AI research lab.

Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ByteDance
ByteDance's core product, Toutiao ("Headlines"), is a content platform in China and worldwide. Toutiao started out as a news recommendation engine and gradually evolved into a platform delivering content in a variety of formats. Toutiao offers its users personalized information feeds that are powered by machine learning algorithms. A content feed is updated based on what the machine learns about a user’s reading preferences.

ByteDance’s research arm, the AI lab was founded in March 2016 and is headed by Wei-Ying Ma, former assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia. The lab’s research focuses on AI for understanding information (text, images, videos) in depth, and developing large scale machine learning algorithms for personalized information recommendations. Its main research areas include Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Speech and Audio, Knowledge and Data Mining, Distributed System and Networking, and Computer Graphics.

TikTok is hugely popular among teens in the US and Europe with over 120,000,000 downloads in the US alone. However there are concerns that content is being censored based on demands from the Chinese government.

Quote from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/11/01/us-government-investigating-tiktok-over-national-security-concerns/
The app has quickly become a viral online hit, installed more than 1.4 billion times around the world and more than 120 million times in the U.S., according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower. Its U.S. downloads in the Apple and Google app stores have beaten or matched its more established rivals, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

“I remain deeply concerned that any platform or application that has Chinese ownership or direct links to China, such as TikTok, can be used as a tool by the Chinese Communist Party to extend its authoritarian censorship of information outside China’s borders and amass data on millions of unsuspecting users,”

So these are their concerns. But are these things actually happening?

Of course TikTok denies these allegations and assures us that everything is okay since they have separate datacenters for users located outside of China.

However inside China, TikTok is openly being used as a tool for spreading propaganda...

Quote from: https://www.abacusnews.com/digital-life/china-tiktok-another-tool-government-spread-its-message/article/3021099
In the West, ByteDance-owned TikTok is usually seen as goofy fun for tweens wanting to shoot videos of themselves singing along to their favorite pop stars. In China, things are a little different.

Promo video of a Chinese military drill in Hong Kong started making the rounds on patriotic sections of China’s TikTok

The first thing Jeffrey Ding saw when he opened his new account on the Chinese version of TikTok, known as Douyin, was a video of the Chinese army seemingly attacking protesters on the streets in Hong Kong.

Again, representatives from TikTok assure us that their Chinese and Western platforms are completely separate and the Chinese government has never requested that they remove content from TikTok. They claim that their content guidelines are based on the local laws of whatever country users are from, but they also recently banned all LGBT content from users in Turkey despite homosexuality being legal there.

Quote from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/26/tiktoks-local-moderation-guidelines-ban-pro-lgbt-content
And an entire section of the rules was devoted to censoring depictions of homosexuality. “Intimate activities (holding hands, touching, kissing) between homosexual lovers” were censored, as were “reports of homosexual groups, including news, characters, music, tv show, pictures”. Similarly blocked was content about “protecting rights of homosexuals (parade, slogan, etc.)” and “promotion of homosexuality”. In all those guidelines, TikTok went substantially further than required by law.

What do you think about all this?
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Re: TikTok discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 01:49:31 PM »
And here's a video on the topic from Hank Green, if you're so inclined.
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Re: TikTok discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 05:28:24 PM »
....


I mean I'm not fuckin surprised at all but

honestly it's just pushing me more and more towards giving up on social media and just making my own website = _=;;;

really appreciate the infodump thank you rachel ♡

also using certain unicode emojis makes the forums think the message has no body, weird. a good example is the unicorn head one
🎷🐕

Re: TikTok discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 04:22:30 AM »
Apparently tiktok is designed to give users a "taste" of "viral fame" to keep them hooked on the app

https://twitter.com/MesitaKazekage/status/1289419828403421185

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tiktok is awful and should not exist. how many of you had tasted some sort of viral success. that's their algorithm keeping you hooked, i experienced it with random videos getting 10k views out of nowhere. it's not a normal app and it needs to be restricted in one way or another

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when i found out how manipulative and creepy it algorithm was i've been anti-it ever since. shoutout actually dude from stoneman douglass who been outspoken for a while about it now

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i heard stories of people actually trying to figure out the algorithm and it changing once it knew it was being watched. it's creepy as shit.

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in all honesty the algorithm's probably doing weird stuff to trigger certain people as well. it's a creepy app that seems to do and collect way more than the standard apps, even facebook dare i say it. but facebook is garbage too, all these apps are, but allegedly tiktok nuts
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Re: TikTok discussion thread
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 12:37:36 AM »
Microsoft, AKA the tech department of the US government, is talking about buying TikTok. This is obviously an attempt to neutralize the threat of foreign companies having control over US communications, much in the same way that Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 to allow the NSA to eavesdrop on formerly end-to-end encrypted conversations.

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Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has reportedly told Trump his company will move fast on its acquisition talks with TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, after the president said he would only approve such a deal – under which Microsoft would take control of the video sharing app’s US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations – if it could be done in the next 45 days.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/03/tiktok-row-trump-to-take-action-soon-says-pompeo-as-microsoft-pursues-deal
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