Category Archives: TikTok

TikTok To Automatically Label AI-Generated Content In Global First

TikTok will become the first social media platform to automatically label some artificial intelligence-generated content, as rapid advances in generative AI deepen concerns about the spread of online disinformation and deepfakes, Financial Times reported.

Online groups, such as Facebook owner Meta and TikTok, already require users to disclose if realistic images, audio or videos are made through AI software.

The visual video app, owned by China’s ByteDance, went a step further on Thursday, announcing its own features to ensure that videos it can identify as AI-generated will be labeled as such. This will include content made in Adobe’s Firefly tool, TikTok’s own AI image generators and OpenAI’s Dall-E.

“The challenge is, we know from many experts that we work with, that there is a rise in … harmful AI-generated content,” said Adam Presser, TikTok’s head of operations and trust and safety.

“This is really important for our community because authenticity is really one of the elements that has made TikTok such a vibrant and joyful community … they want to be able to understand what has been made by a human and what has been enhanced or generated with AI.”

TikTok posted on its newsroom “Partnering with our industry to advance AI transparency and literacy”

Today, we’re sharing updates on our continued efforts to help creators safely and responsibility express their creativity with AI-generated content (AIGC). TikTok is starting to automatically label AI-generated content (AIGC) when it’s uploaded from certain other platforms.

To do this, we’re partnering with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) and becoming the first video sharing platform to implement their Content Credentials technology. To help our community navigate AIGC and misinformation online, we’re also launching new media literacy resources, which we developed with guidance from experts including MediaWise and WITNESS.

NBC News reported TikTok said it will begin automatically labeling artificial intelligence-generated content (AIGC) uploaded from other platforms in an effort to combat misinformation on the app.

The app, which first announced the news on “Good Morning America” on Thursday, said it is partnering with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a project that aims to provide the right tools and resources needed for people to identify AI-generated content.

TikTok will use C2PA’s “content credential” technology, which attaches metadata to a piece of content that indicates it was created with AI. It will be attaching content credentials to AI-generated content created on the app in the coming months.

In my opinion, TikTok is doing something good by labeling AI-content on its platform. Ideally, I’d like to see more social media companies label AI-generated content as such – especially if the post contained misinformation.

Biden Signs Israel, Ukraine, TikTok Bill Into Law

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed into law measures to provide aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as to compel Chinese TikTok parent company ByteDance to sell the social media platform or face a national ban, CNBC reported.

Biden’s official approval ends a six-month saga of tense political battles on Capitol Hill that led to a deadlock on the issue of foreign aid.

“The path to my desk was a difficult path. It should have been easier and it should’ve gotten there sooner,” Biden said Wednesday after signing the bill. “But in the end we did what America always does, we rose to the moment.”

The law earmarks roughly $60 billion in aide for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for security in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific. It also requires ByteDance to sell TikTok within nine months – or a year, if Biden invokes a 90-day extension — or else face a nationwide ban in the U.S.

TikTok has already vowed to fight the measure.

Engadget reported the bill that will force a sale of TikTok in the United States is now law. President Joe Biden signed a package of foreign aide bills that included the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” one day after the legislation was approved by the Senate.

In a statement, TikTok said it would challenge the law in court, which could delay an eventual sale or ban. “This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” the company said. “We believe the facts and that law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail. The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation. This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans.”

The law gives TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, up to a year to sell the app to a new owner. If the company fails to divest, then TikTok will be banned from US apps stores and web hosting services.

The Verge reported President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid package that includes a bill that would ban TikTok if China-based parent company ByteDance fails to divest the app within a year.

The divest-or-ban bill is now law, starting the clock for ByteDance to make its move. The company has an initial nine months to sort out a deal, though the president could extend that another three months if he sees progress.

While just recently the legislation seemed like it would stall out in the Senate after being passed as a standalone bill in the House, political maneuvering helped usher it through to Biden’s desk. The House packaged the TikTok bill — which upped the timeline for divestment from the six months allowed in the earlier version – with foreign aid to US allies, which effectively forced the Senate to consider the measures together.

In my opinion, it makes sense for President Biden to give ByteDance time to sell TikTok to find a new buyer for the app. If ByteDance fails to divest, it will likely lose access to US apps stores.

The House Passes A TikTok Divesture Bill With A Longer Sale Deadline

The House once again passed a bill that could ban TikTok from the US unless its Chinese parent company ByteDance divests it — but this time, it’s in a way that will be harder for the Senate to stall, The Verge reported.

The bill passed 360-58 as part of a larger bill related to sanctions on foreign adversaries like Russia. It’s part of a package of foreign aid bills that seek to provide military aid to Ukraine and Israel and humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

Due to the urgency of the funds, packaging the TikTok bill with these measures means that the Senate will need to consider the proposal more swiftly than it would as a standalone bill. The earlier TikTok bill, which passed the House 353-65 just last month, has so far lingered in the Senate, with lawmakers there giving mixed messages about its future.

NBC News reported the House on Saturday passed a $95 billion package that includes two long-awaited bills with $60.8 billion of Ukraine aid and $26 billion in aid to Israel.

The Ukraine bill, which passed with 311 votes in favor, 112 votes against, and one present, will now head to the Senate alongside the Israel aid bill and two others — one for Taiwan and another that forces TikTok’s parent company to sell the platform.

The House also voted on Saturday to force TikTok’s parent company to sell it or be banned in the U.S. According to the bill, China-based ByteDance will have to sell TikTok within nine months — which the president could extend to a year — or face a nationwide ban. The policy, which lengthens the time frame for a sale from the earlier House bill, has Senate buy-in along with Biden’s support, putting TikTok closer than ever to a ban in the U.S.

Engadget reported the US House of Representatives passed a bill on Saturday that could either see TikTok banned in the country or force its sale. A revised version of the bill, which previously passed in the House in March but later stalled in the Senate, was roped in with a foreign aid package this time around, likely meaning it will now be treated as a higher priority item.

The bill paints TikTok as a national Security threat due to its ties to China. There are roughly 170 million US users on the app, at least according to TikTok, and ByteDance isn’t expected to let them go without a fight. 

In a statement posted on X earlier this week, the TikTok Policy account said such a law would “trample the free speech rights” of these users, “devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy, annually.” Critics of the bill have also argued that banning TikTok would do little in the way of actually protecting Americans’ data.

In my opinion, one of two things needs to happen: ByteDance finds a American buyer for the app and sells it to that person. Or, the United States government officially bans TikTok.

House Passes TikTok Crackdown That Could Ban App In U.S.

The House overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday to force TikTok to split from its parent company or face a national ban, a lightning offensive that materialized abruptly after years of unsuccessful negotiations over the platform’s fate, The Washington Post reported.

The legislation, approved 352 to 65 with 1 voting present, is a sweeping bipartisan rebuke of the popular video-sharing app — and an attempt to grapple with allegations that its China-based parent, ByteDance, presents national security risks. The House effort gained momentum last week after President Biden said he would sign the bill if Congress passed it.

But it’s fate now rests in the Senate, where some lawmakers have expressed concerns it may run afoul of the Constitution by infringing on millions of Americans’ rights to free expression and by explicitly targeting a business operating in the United States.

Though TikTok is incorporated in the United States and has headquarters in Los Angeles, its ties to Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance have long triggered fears the app could be weaponized by Chinese government officials to snoop on Americans or shape their political views. The company says it has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government and would not do so if asked, and its critics have yet to present evidence to the contrary.

According to The Washington Post, Wednesday’s vote is the first time a chamber of Congress has approved legislation that could lead to the platform’s prohibition throughout the country.

The bill lacks a companion measure in the Senate, where lawmakers have pushed for competing approaches for months to tackle concerns over apps viewed as security threats. The dynamics signal a tougher and probably slower path to passage.

CNBC reported the House approved a bill Wednesday that calls for China tech giant ByteDance to divest TikTok or the popular social video app will effectively be banned in the U.S.

The measure passed with a resounding 352-65 vote with one member voting present.

The legislation, dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications App, was introduced March 5 by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Two days later, House members on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve the bill, which refers to TikTok as a threat to national security because it is controlled by a foreign adversary.

The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future as senators appear divided about the legislation, and other federal and state-led efforts to ban TikTok have stalled.

Although House members who drafted the bill have previously said that it “does not ban TikTok,” the legislation in its current form requires ByteDance to divest TikTok within roughly six months in order for the app “to remain available in the United States.” If the bill is enacted, app store owners such as Apple and Google along with internet-hosting companies would be prohibited from supporting TikTok and other apps that are linked to ByteDance,

In my opinion, I think the Senate is not going to fall in line with the legislation created by two House committees. In general, what comes from the House goes to the Senate, and it is currently unclear how the Senate will view it.

TikTok Crackdown Shifts Into Overdrive With Sale or Shutdown On Table

Legislation that would ban TikTok in the U.S. or force its sale is hurtling toward a vote in the House following months of behind-the-scenes efforts on Capitol Hill. The new push caught the service off-guard, ratcheting up interest from possible buyers and raising the possibility that one of the most popular apps in the country could soon be shut down, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Already, U.S. tech and media titans are circling. In recent days, some executives have discussed buying TikTok if ByteDance agrees to sell. Bobby Kotick, the former chief executive of videogame publisher Activision, has expressed interest to ByteDance Executive Chair Zhang Yiming, according to a person familiar with the situation. Any price tag is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Kotick is looking for partners. At a dinner at an Allen & Co. conference earlier this week, Kotick floated the idea of partnering to buy TikTok to a table of people that include OpenAI Sam Altman, according to people familiar with the situation. OpenAI could use TikTok to help train its AI models if a partner such as Kotick could raise the capital for such an acquisition.

TikTok sees two ways to stop the bill from becoming law, according to a person close to the company. The first is the Senate, where some senators have already expressed opposition to legislation that could effectively ban the app in the U.S., citing wanting to protect free speech and a desire not to meddle in business.

Should it pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by President Biden, TikTok could also challenge the legality of the bill, arguing that it violates the First Amendment.

Forbes reported that there is a real possibility that the US government will pass legislation that China’s ByteDance must divest itself from TikTok or risk being banned in the US entirely. Its making its way through congress and Joe Biden himself said he would sign it if it reached his desk.

As such, US buyers are potentially circling, including a recent departure from the gaming industry, former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

According to Forbes, Kotick left Activision shortly after Microsoft acquired it, ending a tenure marked by scandal involving a culture of sexual harassment at the company with some accusations even leveled at him personally. But he ended up escaping with enormous amounts of cash, and is now trying to find partners to potentially buy TikTok should ByteDance actually be forced to divest.

Engadget reported Bobby Kotick, the former CEO of Activision Blizzard who stepped down at the end of last year, is apparently interested in buying TikTok as a new bill in the US threatens to ban the app or force its sale.

According to Engadget, Kotick’s alleged interest in TikTok comes at a tumultuous moment for the immensely popular platform after lawmakers introduced the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications app” last week.

In my opinion, having Bobby Kotick (and whomever he partners with) to buy TikTok was not something I expected to happen. His potential partner, Sam Altman, appears to want to use the data of TikTok users to train his AI models. This will not be good for TikTok users.

TikTok Is Urging Users To Call Congress About A Looming Ban

As support grows for a bill in Congress that would effectively ban TikTok in the US, the video platform is trying to rally support among a key group: its own users, The Verge reported.

TikTok sent users in the US a push notification on Wednesday, warning that “Congress is planning a total ban of TikTok” that would [strip] 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.” The page says that a ban would “damage millions of businesses, destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country, and deny artists an audience.”

The alert includes a way for users to find their representatives and call their office.

According to the Verge, the notification comes shortly after the White House expressed support for a bipartisan bill directed at TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The bill — called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act — is in response to the perceived national security risks of TikTok, particularly around how the company collects user data.

The bill would require that TikTok break off from ByteDance or risk being removed from app stores in the US.

Axios reported members of Congress are being flooded with calls from angry constitutions after TikTok launched a new campaign warning its users that the Chinese-owned app was at risk of being shut down in the U.S.

According to Axios, a key House committee voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to advance bipartisan legislation that would force ByteDance — TikTok’s Chinese parent company — to divest its ownership of the app within 165 days.

The highly unusual 50-0 vote in the House Energy Commerce Committee — which unveiled the bill two days ago alongside the China Select Committee — reflected some of the anger among members about TikTok’s pressure campaign.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Thursday he would “absolutely” put the bill on the House floor.

The White House also indicated that President Biden would sign the bill, injecting new urgency— and aggression — into TikTok’s campaign to counter the yearlong efforts to address the app’s national security risks.

After asking users to enter their ZIP code, TikTok then directed them to call their representative in Congress and let them “know what TikTok means you and tell them to vote NO.”

Axios also reported that the authors of the bill responded furiously to what they called a “massive propaganda campaign,” emphasizing that TikTok would not be banned if ByteDance divests its ownership.

“TikTok is characterizing it as an outright ban, which is of course an outright lie,” House China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) told reporters.

“So bad we turned phones off… Which means we could miss calls from constituents who actually need urgent help with something,” a senior Democratic aide added.

In my opinion, TikTok appears to be engaging in propaganda, by making its users feel that the app could disappear from their phones. Ironically, this is causing lawmakers in Congress to turn off their phones. I don’t think the pressure campaign from TikTok is working.

Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Punish App Stores For Hosting TikTok

After a long reprieve from serious congressional scrutiny, lawmakers are taking another crack at getting TikTok to sever ties from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, The Verge reported. 

The leaders of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, chair Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and ranking member Raja Krishamoorthi (D-IL), announced the introduction of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act on Tuesday. The bill, which has 19 lawmakers signed on so far, would make it illegal to distribute apps controlled by ByteDance, including TikTok, unless they sever ties from the Chinese tech giant.

According to The Verge, if enacted, the bill would impose a civil penalty on app stores and web hosting services that distribute TikTok and other covered services, unless the app is separated from Chinese ownership. The penalty for an app store that violates the law would be calculated by multiplying the number of US users that “accessed, maintained or, or updated” the foreign adversary app by $5,000. The bill would be enforced by the U.S. attorney general.

It also creates a process for the president to designate other social media companies from foreign adversary countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as subject to the bill — meaning apps owned by designated companies that are distributed in the US would need to sever ties to continue operating there.

TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek said in a statement that the bill “is an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it. This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small business of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs.”

CBS News reported: For months, lawmakers have been warned of national security concerns posed by TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Last May, Montana became the first state in the nation to pass legislation banning TikTok entirely. However, that law is still facing legal challenges.

A new bipartisan House bill set for review by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday would require TikTok to divest from its Chinese-based owner ByteDance or risk a ban from app stores in the U.S.

“We implore ByteDance to sell TikTok so that its American users can enjoy their dance videos, bad lip sync, everything else that goes along with TikTok,” Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a news conference Wednesday.

According to CBS News, there are growing fears the personal information TikTok devours from its users could fall into the hands of the Chinese government.

“The choice is up to TikTok,” Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington told CBS News. “They have a choice to make as to whether or not they want to remain with ByteDance, that we know is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

In my opinion, it might be a good idea to separate TikTok and ByteDance from it’s American users. From what I understand, US officials were warned to remove TikTok from their phones a while ago.