Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

TikTok Limited Reach of Videos From Disabled Users, Documents Show

TikTok accused in California lawsuit of sending user data to China TikTok Limited Reach of Videos From Disabled Users, Documents Show
Deanna Wagner | 04 December, 2019, 20:23

TikTok in a statement said what it called a "blunt and temporary policy" was "never created to be a long-term solution" and was no longer in place.

TikTok has come under fire for suppressing videos from disabled, LGBTQ and overweight users, in what the social media app describes as a flawed attempt to tackle bullying.

German site NetzPolitik.org obtained moderation guidelines for the Chinese-owned app, apparently aimed at protecting those it deemed "highly vulnerable to cyberbullying" if exposed to a wide audience.

App raises concern over USA national security; Gillian Turner reports. A spokesperson for the company also told The Verge that, "Early on, in response to an increase in bullying on the app, we implemented a blunt and temporary policy".

When asked about the report, TikTok told AFP on Wednesday that it now recognised "the approach was wrong" and said it had dropped the policy. "This approach was never meant to be a long-term solution and although we had a good intention, we realised that it was not the right approach", said a spokesperson.

The short video making app, TikTok, is facing a lawsuit charge which claims that it harvests users' data and sends it back to China.

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The class-action lawsuit was filed the day before Thanksgiving in California federal court, The Daily Beast said Monday.

She filed the suit on behalf of the approximately 110 million United States residents who have downloaded the app. TikTok did not immediately reply to AFP's request for response.

She alleges that months later TikTok had created an account for her on the app and "surreptitiously" took draft videos that she had created but not published on the app.

Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has built up a keen U.S. fan base.

The lawsuit alleges that TikTok and Chinese parent company ByteDance have neglected their duty to handle user data with care and have knowingly violated a slew of USA statutes governing data gathering and the right to privacy, according to The Daily Beast. USA lawmakers have been concerned about how TikTok stores the personal data of some 26.5 million American users and notes that that the app may also be censoring politically-sensitive content.

Last week, it apologised for removing a viral video that condemned Beijing's crackdown on Muslims in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.