Melon Farmers Original Version

TikTok Censorship

Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship


A ticking timebomb...

UK Government considers banning TikTok over fears of Chinese snooping on users or else controlling their newsfeed

Link Here15th March 2023
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
Tom Tugendhat, the UK security minister, said he is awaiting a report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) before deciding on whether TikTok should be banned or restricted.

Under pressure from some senior MPs, Rishi Sunak has hinted that Britain could follow the US and the EU by banning the social media app from government phones and devices. The Prime Minister said the UK will look at what our allies are doing, with Washington and the European Commission having banned TikTok on staff phones.

Tugendhat was asked if he would go further and order a fully-fledged ban on the app, like those ordered by India and former US president Donald Trump. He responded:

Looking at the various different apps people have on their phones and the implications for them is a hugely important question and I've asked the National Cyber Security Centre to look into this.

What certainly is clear is for many young people TikTok is now a news source and, just as it's quite right we know who owns the news sources in the UK... it's important we know who owns the news sources that are feeding into our phones.



Live issues...

TikTik announces that its Live streams hosting will be for adults only

Link Here18th October 2022
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship

We're making additional changes and improvements to help our community have the best experience possible when they use LIVE.

Currently, people must be aged 16 or over to host a LIVE. From November 23, the minimum age will increase from 16 to 18. As we consider the breadth of our global audience, we already take a graduated approach to the features that our community can access based on their age; younger teens need to be aged 16 or older to access Direct Messaging and 18 or older to send virtual gifts or access monetization features.

In addition, in the coming weeks, we plan to introduce a new way for creators to choose if they'd prefer to only reach an adult audience in their LIVE. For instance, perhaps a comedy routine is better suited for people over age 18. Or, a host may plan to talk about a difficult life experience and they would feel more comfortable knowing the conversation is limited to adults. We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising on safety. We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence.



Offsite Article: Pole dancing on TikTok and the implied nudity ban...

Link Here 20th May 2021
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
My experience of pole dancing on TikTok in 2021. By Blogger on Pole

See article from



TikTok sets accounts of under 16s to private...

Responding to child privacy concerns

Link Here 14th January 2021
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
TikTok users aged under 16 will have their accounts automatically set to private, as the app introduces a series of measures to improve child safety.

Approved followers only can comment on videos from these accounts. Users will also be prevented from downloading any videos created by under-16s.

TikTok said it hoped the changes would encourage young users to actively engage in their online privacy journey.

Those aged between 13 and 15 will be able to approve friends for comments and choose whether to make videos public. But those accounts will also not be suggested to other users on the app. media caption Why is TikTok so popular among teens?

The accounts of 16- and 17-year-olds will prevent others downloading their videos - but the youngsters will have the ability to turn off this restriction.



Ticking countdown paused...

US Dept of Commerce halts the US ban on downloading the TikTok app

Link Here13th November 2020
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
The US Commerce Department has halted a ban on TikTok that was due to come into effect on Thursday night. The order would have prevented the app from being downloaded in the US.

The Commerce Department delayed the ban pending further legal developments, citing a Philadelphia court ruling from September where three prominent TikTokers had argued the app should be allowed to operate in America.

In September, TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance announced a deal with Walmart and Oracle to shift TikTok's US assets into a new entity called TikTok Global.

Donald Trump tentatively supported the deal. However on Tuesday TikTok said it had had no feedback from the US government in two months. Both Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have repeatedly said that the data of US users could be passed on to the Chinese government,



Updated: Likes vs 'should' likes...

TikTok to explain their 'algorithms' to a UK a parliamentary committee

Link Here10th November 2020
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
The upcoming social media website Tiktok will allow UK politicians to review its algorithm, after MPs challenged the firm over censorship concerns and ties to the Chinese government.

Tiktok's UK director of government relations and public policy Elizabeth Kanter said members of the Business Select Committee were welcome to visit its transparency centre, to review its algorithm and the way it moderates content.

Of course the very  idea of algorithms has evolved into some sort of assumption that they are a sinister means of corrupting the weak minds of social media users. In reality they are probably closer to something simple like:

Give 'em more of what they like and don't bother wasting their time with 'worthy' content that they 'should' like, because they'll only skim over it anyway.

Kanter claimed that the app no longer moderates content based on political sensitivities or affiliation. She said:

We do not censor content, I would encourage you to open the app and search for Tiananmen square, search for Uygher, search for Tibet -- you will find that content on Tik Tok.

Kanter reiterated the company's claim that it would not share any data with its Chinese parent company Bytedance or with the Chinese authorities.

TikTok has also announced that it is upping its censorship of political content. In a blog post, the app said it was expanding its policy to take into account coded language and symbols used to spread hateful ideologies:

Tiktok already removes content related to neo-Nazism and white supremacy, but will now also ban similar ideologies such as white nationalism, white genocide theory, Identitarianism and male supremacy.

Update: And on the subject of the repression of Uyghur muslims

10th November 2020. See article from

A TikTok executive admitted to UK lawmakers that the platform censors anti-Chinese content. The statement was made during a hearing held by the UK's Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee. Elizabeth Kanter, TikTok's Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, made the damning comments.

The UK hearing was held to determine whether businesses in the UK are exploiting forced labor in those Xinjiang camps. Kanter initially told the committee that TikTok does not censor content . But when pressed about those previous incidents of censorship on the platform, Kanter admitted something different. She said those videos were removed in the early days of TikTok when content was governed by different guidelines. She said:

The people who wrote the content guidelines took a decision to not allow conflict on the platform, and so there were some incidents where content was not allowed on the platform, specifically with regard to the Uyghur situation.

Kanter later backtracked on her comments claiming that she had misspoken.



Fake views...

TikTok head called to congress to answer for apparent Chinese censorship of videos from the Hong Kong protests

Link Here7th December 2019
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
The head of TikTok is reportedly planning a trip to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with lawmakers who have harshly criticized the app over its purported ties to the Chinese government and concerns over censorship and privacy.

This appears to be the first visit that the TikTok chief, Alex Zhu, has been called to account for the short video-sharing platform. TikTok has become an oft-discussed target among those in the US government, who recently opened a national security investigation and have questioned how close the relationship is between the platform and its China-based parent company, ByteDance.

TikTok has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times globally, an indicator of its rapid rise as a platform -- especially loved by teens -- for creating and sharing short videos and launching the latest viral memes across the internet.

TikTok has faced increasing scrutiny over ties to its parent company, a $75 billion company based out of China called ByteDance. TikTok has consistently defended itself by asserting that none of its moderators are based in China, and that no foreign government asks the platform to censor content. However when pro-democracy protests broke out in Hong Kong earlier this year, TikTok was curiously devoid of any hints of unrest, and videos instead documented a prettier picture.

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