TikTok opens doors to win US trust - Mobile World Live

TikTok opens doors to win US trust

11 MAR 2020

TikTok announced plans to open a new transparency centre in the US, where it will allow outside experts to review its content moderation systems in a bid to counter allegations the platform is subject to censorship requests from the Chinese government.

The facility, set to open in May, will be located within TikTok’s office in Los Angeles. It will initially allow third-party observers to see how the video-sharing app’s content moderators apply community guidelines; what systems are in place for users and creators to voice concerns about violations; and how those are then processed.

In future, the company said the centre will also offer insight into its source code, and data privacy and security practices.

Vanessa Pappas, GM for TikTok, said in a blog the company expects the facility “to operate as a forum where observers will be able to provide meaningful feedback on our practices”.

“Our landscape and industry is rapidly evolving, and we are aware that our systems, policies and practices are not flawless, which is why we are committed to constant improvement.”

The move comes as TikTok continues efforts to win over US politicians concerned about censorship and privacy of users on the platform stemming from TikTok’s China connection: while the company is headquartered in the US, parent ByteDance is based in China.

Earlier this year, the company issued its first-ever transparency report, detailing government requests for user information and content removal during the first half of 2019.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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