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TikTok Deliberately Suppressed Videos by Disabled Users

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The New California Republic
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TikTok Deliberately Suppressed Videos by Disabled Users

Postby The New California Republic » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:20 am

Videos made by disabled users were deliberately prevented from going viral on TikTok by the firm's moderators, the app has acknowledged.

The social network said the policy was introduced to reduce the amount of cyber-bullying on its platform, but added that it now recognised the approach had been flawed. The measure was exposed by the German digital rights news site Netzpolitik. Disability rights campaigners said the strategy had been "bizarre".

A leaked extract from TikTok's rulebook gave examples of what its moderators were instructed to be on the lookout for:

  • disabled people
  • people with facial disfigurements
  • people with other "facial problems" such as a birthmark or squint
  • Down's syndrome
  • autism
Such users were "susceptible to bullying or harassment based on their physical or mental condition", the guidelines added.

According to an unnamed TikTok source quoted by Netzpolitik, the moderators were told to limit viewership of affected users' videos to the country where they were uploaded. And in cases where the creators were judged to be particularly vulnerable, it reported that the moderators were ordered to prevent the clips from appearing in the app's main video feed once they had reached between 6,000 to 10,000 views. This video feed is auto-generated and personalised for each member. It accounts for where most people spend their time watching others' content. Netzpolitik reporter Chris Koever suggested the result was that the Chinese-owned firm had further victimised those affected "instead of policing the perpetrators".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50645345


The irony of this situation is that the very act of suppressing the content created by disabled users could in and of itself be construed as a form of bullying or harassment, or at the very least an attitude of treating disabled people as victims by default.

In addition to the case of the allegedly politically-motivated suppression of one of Feroza Aziz's videos that mentioned the Uighurs, it adds to the distrust I feel regarding such social media platforms, which I voluntarily exiled myself from years ago.

Some questions to ponder, that I can't fully answer myself: do such incidents make you concerned when using social media? Do social media platforms have an obligation to be neutral?
Last edited by Karl Marx on Wed Mar 14, 1883 15:05 pm, edited 999 times in total.

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Postby Urlendia » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:29 am

Man, if disabled people are going to be banned my FYP will consist exclusively of Swedish tik toks about cars with 2 likes.
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:38 am

Urlendia wrote:Man, if disabled people are going to be banned [...]

TikTok isn't banning them...
Last edited by Karl Marx on Wed Mar 14, 1883 15:05 pm, edited 999 times in total.

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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:39 am

So is Tik Tok the latest social media platform people have migrated to like wildebeest?
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:47 am

I understand why they did this. The Internet is a nasty place and anyone visibly different going viral is going to get a lot of hate. Given the instant nature of communication the moderation has to be reactive and there's only so much a site can do to protect people; it'll never be enough and it will lead to much bad press for the company.

Promoting the content of disabled people might be a net social gain in changing attitudes, but it's an absolute minefield for the site's reputation.
Last edited by Dumb Ideologies on Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ifreann » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 am

That'll happen when sites like this rule out the obvious solution of just banning users that make their site worse for other users.
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:58 am

I mean, TikTok sucks already, so...
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Postby The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:01 am

TikTok is trash, and this decision is trash.
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Postby Nakena » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:20 am

TikTok is Chicom garbage.
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:24 am

Nakena wrote:TikTok is Chicom garbage.

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Postby Magnum Exitium » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:25 am

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Postby Unstoppable Empire of Doom » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:30 am

An Alan Smithee Nation wrote:So is Tik Tok the latest social media platform people have migrated to like wildebeest?

Apparently. I hadn't heard a thing about it until like 3 or 4 months ag there was a massive advertising push. It feels like a corporate fabrication to eat into facebook/Twitter etc.
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Postby Nuroblav » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:40 am

I mean, bullying isn't really a great thing, but this is unnecessary. When installing the app, people should know that they are using social media and - ergo - are subject to...other people! Now some people are pretty shit, let's not deny that.
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That's what I was thinking as well :lol:
Unstoppable Empire of Doom wrote:
An Alan Smithee Nation wrote:So is Tik Tok the latest social media platform people have migrated to like wildebeest?

Apparently. I hadn't heard a thing about it until like 3 or 4 months ag there was a massive advertising push. It feels like a corporate fabrication to eat into facebook/Twitter etc.

Yeah I first heard about it a few months ago. Not interesting to me at all!
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:45 am

I think some neutrality is necessary in these platforms. Unless TikTok was trying to protect disabled users from other people using their videos for malicious purposes (mock/bully them), -I don’t presume to know the actual reason however-, the app should be neutral and not suppress videos on the grounds of the particular user being disabled.
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Postby Andsed » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:58 am

Yeah that is not a good move on the part of TikTok. While I understand the need to limit bullying of disabled users preventing them from going viral seems more like punishing the victim than anything else. I think a better solution is have moderators pay a little more attention to videos made by disabled users and handing out harsh punishments for the cockwarts being assholes
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Postby Ifreann » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:02 am

Nuroblav wrote:I mean, bullying isn't really a great thing, but this is unnecessary. When installing the app, people should know that they are using social media and - ergo - are subject to...other people! Now some people are pretty shit, let's not deny that.

It simply isn't true that participating in online communities necessarily involves dealing with horrible people. TikTok could, if they wanted to, ban users who are shitty to other users. But as with all sites, apps, etc, whose revenue is based largely on the number of users, they don't want to do that if they can possibly avoid it. TikTok wants to keep bullies using TikTok, because advertising to bullies is worth money too. That financial incentive, that profit motive, is why horrible people are welcomed into online communities. Eliminate that, and you can have online communities that are actually good.
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Postby The Black Forrest » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:16 am

Soooo.......in order to reduce trolling they will ban the victims or lesson their involvement which basically slowly banning the victim.

Sorry; if I was a mod there; the ban hammer would be swinging or depending on the admin; I would probably be resigning.

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Postby The New California Republic » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:51 am

The Black Forrest wrote:Soooo.......in order to reduce trolling they will ban the victims or lesson their involvement which basically slowly banning the victim.

Sorry; if I was a mod there; the ban hammer would be swinging or depending on the admin; I would probably be resigning.

Didn’t know about tiktok and now have a reason not to know them.

I suppose the equivalent on here would be for a Mod to punt a thread down the thread list, on the basis that the OP has some known characteristic that could lead to them being flamed or trolled. Such a thing would never be acceptable on here, and nor is it acceptable on social media platforms.
Last edited by Karl Marx on Wed Mar 14, 1883 15:05 pm, edited 999 times in total.

The Irradiated Wasteland of The New California Republic: depicting the expanded NCR, several years after the complete victory over Caesar's Legion, and the pacification and annexation of New Vegas and its surrounding areas.
Current President of The NCR: Aaron Kimball.
Current NCR Ambassador to The World Assembly: Colonel James Hsu, NCR Army (Ret.)
.

White-collared conservatives flashing down the street
Pointing their plastic finger at me
They're hoping soon, my kind will drop and die
But I'm going to wave my freak flag high
Wave on, wave on
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Postby Agarntrop » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:54 am

This decision is vile and bizzare, although tiktok is vile and bizzare as a whole so I'm not suprised.
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Postby Nuroblav » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:29 am

Ifreann wrote:
Nuroblav wrote:I mean, bullying isn't really a great thing, but this is unnecessary. When installing the app, people should know that they are using social media and - ergo - are subject to...other people! Now some people are pretty shit, let's not deny that.

It simply isn't true that participating in online communities necessarily involves dealing with horrible people.

Well no I know that! Still, it's worth knowing that it could rather than acting surprised when it doesn't.
TikTok could, if they wanted to, ban users who are shitty to other users. But as with all sites, apps, etc, whose revenue is based largely on the number of users, they don't want to do that if they can possibly avoid it. TikTok wants to keep bullies using TikTok, because advertising to bullies is worth money too. That financial incentive, that profit motive, is why horrible people are welcomed into online communities. Eliminate that, and you can have online communities that are actually good.

Fair enough. As you say, the more people using their app, the more money they make. I for one believe that money shouldn't be a good motive, but I guess others have different so we'll agree to disagree on that (note that I know what your opinion is :lol:).
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Postby Major-Tom » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:41 am

An Alan Smithee Nation wrote:So is Tik Tok the latest social media platform people have migrated to like wildebeest?


Sort of, it's an easy way for people to browse videos perceived as funny or relatable for hours on end. I'll concede that I sometimes lay in bed just scrolling endlessly through that sludge, even if I don't find much of the content to be all too funny (sometimes there are some gems, though).

Either way, the platform as a whole is toxic as fuck, in part because of the designers of the platform itself who repeatedly pick and choose which benign content to block - but also because of the platform users, many of whom are just festering cesspools of toxicity.
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Postby Costa Fierro » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:30 pm

It's either this or we see numerous videos from people harassing/bullying disabled users. There's already dozens of "cringe compilations" from people who clearly don't fit into the ideal characteristics of what TikTok wants. If people want their videos to be shared, then when the inevitable happens it'll be on you.
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:46 pm

Nakena wrote:TikTok is Chicom garbage.
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Postby Valentine Z » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:50 pm

Sentiment: A+. I can see the reasoning behind it, like sure, they want to stop bullying. Aww!

Execution: F-----. What the fuck are they thinking? Sure, let's ban the victims instead of addressing the bullies.

Then again, I was never a fan of TikTok. At least Vine has some charm to it. And don't make me talk about Musical.ly, which is now merged with TikTok.
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Postby Samudera Darussalam » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:07 pm

Valentine Z wrote:Sentiment: A+. I can see the reasoning behind it, like sure, they want to stop bullying. Aww!

Execution: F-----. What the fuck are they thinking? Sure, let's ban the victims instead of addressing the bullies.

Then again, I was never a fan of TikTok. At least Vine has some charm to it. And don't make me talk about Musical.ly, which is now merged with TikTok.

They are not banning it, as far as I can understand. They are just making it to be not so popular to avoid cyberbullying.
Well, I do agree that while the intention is honourable and good, I don't think what they do is the correct thing, because since it's the internet we are talking about, cyberbullying is still going to happen either way. Talk about people have no better thing to do while online.
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