March 6, 2021

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TikTok instructed the moderators not to promote the contributions of “ugly” and “poor” people

2 min read
TikTok instructed the moderators not to promote the contributions of "ugly" and "poor" people

The striking thing has surfaced about TikTok, the fastest growing social network today. The Intercept Investigative Server received internal company documents that revealed that moderators were given orders not to promote posts from ugly and poor-looking people. They also had some political views to censor. TikTok confirmed that the rules really existed at one time. But he doesn’t use them anymore.

 

The documents specifically describe what the moderators should have taken note of and choose accordingly, whose post they promote or not. It bothered if the user had significant scars, unwashed hair, too many wrinkles, was obese, or filmed in a shabby and dilapidated environment. Only attractive, well-dressed users received the promotion.

 

Video about political views was strictly banned – if someone in the live stream mentioned controversial topics (eg the Chinese government, police forces, the army), the moderators censored it. ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikToku, has long denied that any network censorship exists.

 

For instance, The Guardian reported strange rules for moderators in the past, saying that TikTok censors videos about protests in Hong Kong or the Tiananmen massacre. Netzpolitik, the German website, wrote that the network deliberately hides content created by people with disabilities, which TikTok explained as an attempt to prevent possible cyberbullying.

 

Regarding the current leaked documents, TikTok did not deny them, but claims that they are not up-to-date (although The Intercept states, that moderators followed it at least in the second half of last year).

 

“Just as we introduced last year for The Guardian and Netzpolitik, we no longer apply the rules issued by The Intercept,”

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