- Did the Space Force logo rip off Star Trek? Friday 6:24 PM
- Disabled people with service dogs say Uber, Lyft drivers are denying them rides Friday 3:25 PM
- TikTok teen famous for greasy hair ends her 8-year reign Friday 2:48 PM
- Police handcuff brown man at subway station for carrying a toy gun Friday 1:20 PM
- Fake clip of Sanders quoting infamous ‘hot chip’ tweet is duping people online Friday 1:16 PM
- The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala alleges Scientologists behind dog’s death Friday 12:46 PM
- Eminem responds to critics: ‘This album was not made for the squeamish’ Friday 12:42 PM
- ‘The poet, the poem’ meme takes iconic lines and turns them into art Friday 12:40 PM
- People are making dark memes about the coronavirus Friday 12:27 PM
- Trump camp’s ‘head on a pike’ impeachment threat hit with memes Friday 11:34 AM
- What is the #FreeBritney movement, and why is Cher tweeting about it? Friday 10:52 AM
- This YouTuber claims the Saudi government plotted to kidnap him on U.S. soil Friday 10:30 AM
- Report: Jack Dorsey declined to host a fundraiser for Tulsi Gabbard Friday 10:22 AM
- Bernie Sanders plugs Joe Rogan endorsement—and women are furious Friday 10:04 AM
- Young woman using TikTok to document the end of her life says she’s dying next week Friday 8:43 AM
Popular social media platform TikTok has admitted to suppressing content creators who moderators feared would be victims of cyberbullying.
German digital rights blog Netzpolitik.org reports that according to internal documents, TikTok instructed moderators to flag videos by creators they felt were especially vulnerable to mockery. This included disabled, LGBTQ, and fat creators.
These “special users” were “susceptible to harassment or cyberbullying based on their physical or mental condition” a spokesperson from TikTok told Netzpolitik. These users were assigned a special mark that would prevent their video from being viewed outside of their country of origin and prevent their content from appearing on the “for you” section of the app.
On TikTok, where users create singing, comedy, and prank video, views are everything. According to Netzpolitik, by creating blocks for “special users,” TikTok robbed the users of millions of views.
Even more concerning, according to Netzpolitik, moderators had 30 seconds to determine whether users should be flagged, for example, for having “facial disfigurement,” “autism,” or “Down syndrome.”
In a statement to the Daily Dot, a TikTok spokesperson said the policy was “blunt and temporary.”
“This was never designed to be a long-term solution, but rather a way to help manage a troubling trend until our teams and user-facing controls could keep up,” the spokesperson said. “While the intention was good, the approach was wrong and we have long since changed the earlier policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protections.”
- MIT researchers have developed a tool to fight cyberbullying
- Four Irish students suspended after harassing teachers on Facebook
- What is IgFace for TikTok and how can you best use it?
Collyn Burke is a senior journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin interning for the Daily Dot's editorial team and Two Girls One Podcast. Her work has previously appeared in the Daily Texan and the Texas Observer.