TikTok Moderators Told To Censor Post From Poor & Ugly Users

Many celebrities, content creators, and influencers have flocked to the now highly-popularized social media platform TikTok, but according to an in-depth report obtained by The Intercept, the app’s moderators have been censoring videos by users deemed too “ugly, poor, or disabled.” The publication revealed that the platform’s moderators are suppressing content from it’s physically unappealing, financially-challenged, and disabled participants in order to attract more users to TikTok. Unfortunately, the method has been partially the reason why the app has been so successful as TikTok utilizes coveted influencers and challenges for their platform racking up over 1.5 billion users and achieving approximately 614 million app downloads this year alone, according to MediaKixTikTok Moderators Told To Censor Post From Poor & Ugly Users

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Recently, Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, dubbed the China-based app as “parasitic,” after witnessing a steep increase in interest of the app while singer/songwriter Lizzo has feuded with the platform after the removal and replacement of her bathing suit video content. 

One particular note in the exposed moderator documentation states that the officials should ‘hide’ content featuring “rural poverty, slums, beer bellies, and crooked smiles.” A ‘modesty code’ instilled within the company has also led to the removal of content featuring bikini or swimming suits “outside of a beach or swimming occasion.” With the app’s handlers based in China, political censorship has been adamant as the moderator docs to ban users who “harmed ‘national honor.'” While political content has been able to find its way onto the platform from time to time, anything in regards to political propaganda will and has been removed especially content critical of the Communist Party of China. 

A TikTok spokesperson revealed that ‘most of’ the exposed guideline documents are “either no longer in use, or in some cases appear to never have been in place.”

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