A report from The Intercept claims that TikTok instructed moderators to censor posts made by users that were considered too “ugly.”
But what does this really mean?
It seems that the creators of TikTok are keen to preserve the appeal of their platform by censoring posts made by users deemed too “ugly.”
The Intercept claims that videos that show “rural poverty, slums, beer bellies, and crooked smiles” are censored by platform moderators for the feat of losing appeal among the app’s newcomers. While the claim is based on leaked documents of which the origins could not be verified, it is not the first time these allegations are made.
A little over a year ago, German publication Netzpolitik made similar claims, explaining that TikTok was voluntarily removing videos created by queer, disabled and overweight users. Back then, it was claimed that these rules were established to protect these users from being bullied on the platform.
These restrictions were placed in the app’s “For You” section, where posts are promoted to a widespread audience.
We have reached out to TikTok and a spokesperson claimed that these guidelines “are no longer in place, and were already out of use when The Intercept obtained them.” – while there is no timestamp on the documents leaked by The Intercept, I find the lack of denial from TikTok shocking.
Can we even be surprised? Do you use TikTok? Leave us a comment on Facebook about your experience with the platform.
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