Tag Archives: tiktok

TikTok Reveals its State-Controlled Media Policy



TikTok posted information about its state-controlled media policy in a Newsroom post titled: “Bringing more context to content on TikTok”. Some social media companies already have put in place similar policies. Those who don’t have one will probably create one now.

Last year we began working to develop a consistent and comprehensive state media policy, as we recognize that an additional layer of context can be helpful to viewers, especially in times of war and in conflict zones. In response to the war in Ukraine, we’re expediting the rollout of our state media policy to bring viewers context to evaluate the content they consume on our platform…

TikTok will begin by applying labels to content from some state-controlled media accounts over the coming days.

Here are some key points from TikTok’s policies:

We recognize the heightened risk and impact of misleading information during a time of crisis. We continue to increase our safety and security measures and are working aggressively to help ensure people can express themselves and share their experiences, while we also seek to mitigate the potential for harm.

TikTok uses a combination of technology and people to protect their platform. Their teams speak more than 60 languages and dialects including Russian and Ukrainian.

TikTok reminds users that their Community Guidelines prohibit content that contains harmful misinformation, hateful behavior, or promotion of violence. The company will remove violative content, will ban accounts, and will suspend access to product features like livestream to those who break the rules.

TikTok also has evolved its methods in real-time to identify and combat harmful content, such as implementing additional measures to help detect and take action on livestreams that may broadcast unoriginal or misleading content.

TikTok will “remain focused on preventing, detecting, and deterring influence operations on our platform and our systems help us to identify, block and remove inauthentic accounts, engagement, or other associated activities on TikTok”.

The New York Times reported that some TikTok users were viewing videos of Ukrainian tanks taken from video games, as well as a soundtrack that was first uploaded to the app more than a year ago. Some who viewed that content believed they were seeing legitimate, authentic, videos posted by people in the Ukraine.


TikTok is Testing TikTok Live Studio



When people think about streaming sites, the first one that likely comes to mind is Twitch. YouTube has YouTube Gaming. Facebook has Facebook Live, and you can Go Live on Twitter. It does not surprise me that TikTok is testing TikTok Live Studio.

TechCrunch reported that TikTok has been testing a Windows program called TikTok Live Studio. To me, that sounds like Mac users won’t be able to access this feature.

Once downloaded to your desktop, the program allows users to log in with their TikTok account and stream directly to TikTok Live. Within the program, you can communicate with viewers through the chat feature, and you can stream content from your computer, your phone, or a gaming console. TikTok told TechCrunch that this program is currently available only in a handful of Western markets for a few thousand users.

Zach Bussey, who covers streamer stories, tweeted: “It’s super basic in its current state. Has both Landscape and Portrait Scenes. Sources include Game Capture, Mobile Capture, Video Capture, Program Capture, and some text/images. No browser sources, or alerts. Emojis are limited to the stock ones.”

In general, every site that offers streaming is doing in in the hopes that streamers will pick them (and bring their community). The main goal is to make something that will encourage people to spend more time streaming or watching other people stream. In my opinion, TikTok Live Studio is the platform’s way of trying to discover if people want to live stream on TikTok.

TechCrunch reported that TikTok’s promotional images appear to suggest that they want people to stream video games. However, according to TechCrunch, TikTok Live Studio lacks many of the features that streamers have can use on Twitch. That might deter streamers who are making some money on other streaming platforms to prioritize TikTok Live Streaming.

It is also worth knowing that TikTok told TechCrunch that TikTok Live Studio “isn’t guaranteed to roll out.” Now is not the time to ditch your current streaming platform in the hopes of making it big on TikTok Live Studio.


TikTok Technology will Automate Removal of Videos



TikTok posted information titled: “Advancing our approach to user safety”. The post informs users that TikTok will begin introducing technology to automatically remove content that violates their Community Standards. As of today, TikTok will bring these systems to the US and Canada as the company works to advance the safety of their community.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll begin using technology to automatically remove some types of violative content identified upon upload, and in addition to removals confirmed by our Safety Team. Automation will be reserved for categories where our technology has the highest degree of accuracy, starting with violations of our policies on minor safety, adult nudity and sexual activities, violent and graphic content, and illegal activities and regulated goods.

One of the reasons TikTok is choosing to use automated technologies on uploaded content – before it goes live – is to spare their moderators from having to view it. I think we can all understand why having to view the worst things on the internet – as requirement of a person’s job – would cause harm to those who cannot opt-out of seeing it.

TikTok also clarified how users will be notified of Community Guidelines violations. The new system counts the violations accrued by a user and is based on the severity and frequency of the violations. People will be notified of the consequence(s) of their violation(s), starting in the Account Updates section of their Inbox. A record of their accrued violations will be shown there.

First violation: TikTok sends a warning in the app, unless the violation is a zero-tolerance policy, which will result in an automatic ban.

After the first violation:

Suspend an account’s ability to upload a video, comment or edit their profile for 24 or 48 hours, depending on the severity of the violation and previous violations.

Or, restrict an account to a view-only experience for 72 hours or up to one week, meaning the account can’t post or engage with content.

Or, after several violations, a user will be notified that their account is on the verge of being banned. If the behavior persists, the account will be permanently removed.

TikTok may also block a device to prevent future accounts from being created.


Biden Revokes Trump’s Order Banning TikTok and WeChat



President Biden issued an executive order titled: “Executive Order on Protecting Americans’ Sensitive Data from Foreign Adversaries”. It revokes one of Trump’s executive orders banning TikTok and WeChat. That order was never carried out.

In September of 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a prohibition on transactions relating to mobile apps WeChat and TikTok. In October of 2020, three popular TikTok creators filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce. U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted a preliminary injunction, which caused the Department of Commerce to be enjoined from forcing the prohibition on TikTok.

The Verge reported that President Biden’s executive order revokes the Trump-era bans on TikTok and WeChat. The order calls for the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, to investigate apps with ties to foreign adversaries that may pose a risk to American data privacy or national security.

It also calls on other federal agencies to work together to craft recommendations to protect against the collection, sale, and transfer of sensitive US consumer data to foreign adversaries. According to The Verge, the Commerce Department is expected to also make recommendations for future executive orders or legislation to address these concerns.

The Trump order had not been carried out “in the soundest fashion”, according to CNN, who posted about Biden administration officials call with reporters. The officials stated that the new directive would establish “clear intelligible criteria” to evaluate national security risks posed by software applications connected to foreign governments, particularly China.

Overall, it seems to me that the executive order is intended to prevent foreign adversaries from collecting the data of Americans. That sounds like a good thing. The order also means that TikTok and WeChat are likely to be investigated in order to determine if they should be banned.


TikTok Won’t Be Shut Down Due to Ongoing Lawsuit



The U.S. Department of Commerce said that it wouldn’t enforce its order that would have forced the Chinese-owned TikTok video sharing app to shut down, The Wall Street Journal reported. The reason is due to the result of a lawsuit.

In September of 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a prohibition on transactions relating to mobile apps WeChat and TikTok. It would have barred companies from providing internet hosting or content-delivery services to TikTok. This would have resulted in making TikTok inoperable in the United States.

In October of 2020, three popular TikTok creators, Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alec Chambers filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce. TechCrunch reported that each have millions of followers on TikTok. Their argument was that banning the app would make them lose access to their followers, and impact their ability to earn a living.

U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Wendy Beetlestone granted the three TikTok creators the preliminary injunction hey asked for. According to NBC News, Judge Beetlestone also found that the government had gone beyond the authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

As a result, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the preliminary injunction enjoined it from enforcing the prohibition on TikTok. It appears that the U.S. government intends to appeal this ruling.


Trump “Approved the Deal in Concept” Between TikTok and Oracle



One day after the U.S. Department of Treasury stated that WeChat and TikTok would be prohibited in the United States, President Donald Trump has “approved the deal in concept”. The more I read about This situation, the murkier it gets.

The U.S. Department of Treasury posted a new statement:

The President has reviewed a deal among Oracle, Walmart, and TikTok Global to address the national security threat posed by TikTok’s operations. Oracle will be responsible for key technology and security responsibilities to protect all U.S. user data. Approval of the transaction is subject to a closing with Oracle and Walmart and necessary documentation and conditions to be approved by CFIUS.

Bloomberg has reported the following: “I approved the deal in concept,” Trump told reporters Saturday as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.” I have no idea what President Trump means by that.

According to Bloomberg, the new company will be called TikTok Global. It has agreed to funnel $5 billion new tax dollars to the U.S. and set up an education fund, which Trump said would satisfy his demand that the U.S. government receive a payment from the deal.

However, Reuters has reported that ByteDance was not aware that this deal involved a $5 billion education fund. On a social media post, ByteDance said it was the first time it had heard that news.

It gets even stranger. The Wall Street Journal reported that ByteDance would retain roughly 80% ownership of TikTok Global “according to people familiar with the situation”. Because ByteDance is about 40% owned by U.S. investors, the new company can be described has having majority American ownership. To me, it sounds like TikTok Global might remain connected to ByteDance despite this deal.

Bloomberg also reported that TikTok promised to hire an additional 15,000 jobs, more than the 10,000 positions the company already pledged to fill earlier this year. It appears that TikTok Global will be an independent company. And that TikTok Global “will likely” be headquartered in Texas.

TikTok stated that the proposal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart “will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the US”.

How is Walmart connected to this deal? CNBC reported that Walmart said it has tentatively agreed to purchase a 7.5% stake, and CEO Doug McMillon would serve as one fo the five board members of the newly created TikTok Global company.

In a press release, Oracle announced that it was chosen to become TikTok’s secure cloud technology provider. Oracle said this decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.


U.S. Department of Commerce Prohibits WeChat and TikTok



The United States Department of Commerce announced a prohibition on transactions relating to mobile apps WeChat and TikTok. This is being done in response to President Trump’s Executive Orders that were signed on August 6, 2020. The action by the Department of Commerce describes the decision as one made “to safeguard the national security of the United States.”

Here is a small portion of the Department of Commerce’s announcement:

…While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.

Has the U.S. government ever banned an app before? If so, I don’t remember that happening. The thing that bothers me is that there are several social media platforms that collect the same kinds of data from American users, (but are not involved with China). My concern is that the prohibition on WeChat and TikTok could be used as precedent for the Trump Administration to ban Twitter and/or Facebook.

As of September 20, 2020, the following transactions are prohibited:

  • Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.;
  • Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

As of September 20, 2020, WeChat, and as of November 12, 2020, for TikTok, the following transactions are prohibited:

  • Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  • Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.
  • Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  • Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S.;

CNBC reported that WeChat is owned by the Chinese company Tencent. TikTok’s parent company is Beijing-based Byte Dance. CNBC points out that the prohibition means Apple and Google will have to pull those apps from their libraries.