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TikTok Prevents Disabled Users’ Videos From Going Viral: Report

"This was never designed to be a long-term solution, and while the intention was good, it became clear that the approach was wrong," the spokesperson told the BBC

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok has acknowledged that content produced by disabled users was deliberately suppressed by the firm’s moderators in a bid to prevent these users from becoming victims of bullying, the media reported.

Facing criticism, TikTok acknowledged that its approach had been flawed, the BBC reported on Tuesday, adding that the measure was exposed by the German digital rights news site Netzpolitik.

Disability rights campaigners termed the strategy “bizarre”.

A leaked extract from TikTok’s rulebook gave examples of what its moderators were instructed to be on the lookout for: disabled people, those with Down’s syndrome and autism, people with facial disfigurements, and people with other “facial problems” such as a birthmark or sight squint.

Such users were “susceptible to bullying or harassment based on their physical or mental condition”, according to the rulebook.

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The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

The moderators were instructed to restrict viewership of affected users’ videos to the country where they were uploaded, according to an unnamed TikTok source quoted by Netzpolitik.

The moderators were told to prevent the clips of vulnerable users from appearing in the app’s main video feed once they had reached between 6,000 to 10,000 views, said the report.

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A spokesman for TikTok admitted that it had made the wrong choice, the BBC reported.

“Early on, in response to an increase in bullying on the app, we implemented a blunt and temporary policy,” he was quoted as saying.

“This was never designed to be a long-term solution, and while the intention was good, it became clear that the approach was wrong,” the spokesperson told the BBC. (IANS)

Next Story

World Economic Forum, TikTok Launch Diversity Campaign

The theme of this year's meet is 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World'

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The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

In collaboration with World Economic Forum (WEF), Chinese short-video sharing application TikTok on Tuesday launched the #AllTheDifference challenge to promote inclusion in diversity ahead of the Davos summit that will discuss inclusive societies.

From January 21 to 27, TikTok users in over 75 global markets including the US, the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, India, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa and many others, are encouraged to celebrate inclusion and diversity by joining the #AllTheDifference challenge.

According to the company, a special “I say” sticker is available on the app to help TikTok users express themselves.

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TikTok owner ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is aiming to take on the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Gaana with its own music streaming service in India. VOA

The WEF will be held in Davos, Switzerland, from January 21 to 24. The event brings together 3,000 global leaders.

Guests invited this year at the Davos meet include US President Donald Trump, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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The theme of this year’s meet is ‘Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World’.

At the three-day prestigious event, political leaders, business executives, heads of international organisations and civil society representatives from around the world will deliberate on contemporary economic, geopolitical, social and environmental issues. (IANS)