TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app has been a worldwide phenomenon. It rose as a surprise phoenix from Vine’s ashes and became what Vine should have been. It has accrued billions of downloads and has hundreds of millions of active users globally.
Although it has become a really popular video-sharing app, it apparently has an unfortunate side. It allows people to upload looping videos but apparently it seems like they suppress content from ugly people.
According to The Intercept, Tiktok apparently instructed moderators to suppress posts created by users who were deemed to be too ugly, poor or disabled on the platform.
They were explicitly told to suppress uploads from people with “abnormal body shape”, “ugly facial looks”, “dwarfism”, and “obvious beer belly,”, “too many wrinkles,” “eye disorders,” and many “low quality” traits. They also were told to hide videos in which the shooting environment is “shabby and dilapidated,” which included but not limited to slums and rural fields but “rural beautiful natural scenery” could be exempted.
The documents that the publication obtained also show that moderators were also told to censor political speeches in Tiktok livestreams.
Interestingly enough, when the social network was contacted about this issue, a spokesperson from Tiktok said that most of the livestream guidelines reviewed were either no longer in use or in some cases appear to never have been in place. Regarding the policy of suppressing videos of poor, ugly or disabled users, the spokesperson said that the rules were “an early blunt attempt at preventing bullying but are no longer in place.”
Well. the Intercepter sources indicated that the policies were in use through at least late 2019 and the livestream policy document was created in 2019.
That is pretty shocking that a social network would want to paint a certain picture to its 800 million active monthly users.