No guidelines for content that goes against China: TikTok to Wion

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 20, 2020, 04.50 PM(IST)

TikTok Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In an apparent clarification to Wion, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has said their community guidelines are holistic, and that they do not have any specific rules for content that explicitly goes against the stated positions of the Chinese government.

TikTok has often been called a potential counter-intelligence threat. But the popular short-form video platform has refuted any such allegation.

In an apparent clarification to Wion, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has said their community guidelines are holistic, and that they do not have any specific rules for content that explicitly goes against the stated positions of the Chinese government.

TikTok and Helo, both owned by Bytedance, boast of millions of downloads across the world. It, hence, became mandatory to look into allegations against the authenticity of these apps.

TikTok India has also often courted several controversies earlier. Last year in July, an inquiry to the Centre asked for a new law to test and regulate apps like TikTok as India does not have any regulations to monitor any illegal activity on such platforms.

To this end, Wion, two days ago, reported on how TikTok has been cutting across genres to become somewhat a propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party. It was also reported that Helo had told its moderators to censor content against the Chinese government, for example, those mentioning the Dalai Lama or the Tibet.

Also read | TikTok: An entertainment platform or Chinese propaganda company?
 
At the same time, Wion sent an email to TikTok's team in India for clarification.

TikTok, in a written reply, said the moderation teams of TikTok and Helo were different.

"TikTok's comprehensive community guidelines establish what we expect from our community, and what is not tolerated on our platform," they added.

The statement further said, "TikTok has put in place protective measures by combining content moderation technology with a robust human moderation team. This team, which is based in over 20 countries and regions, now covers 36 languages, an increase of 400% in terms of language support from one year ago. In India, the moderation team covers 15 major Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and more.

"Most importantly, TikTok enables users to help in content moderation as well. TikTok’s users can report content that they believe violates any of the community guidelines or that they find offensive directly from the app itself. "

Though the platform does not operate in China, it's often speculated that the content on the app is stipulated to adhere to Chinese intelligence, national security and cybersecurity laws.

Politicos across the world also view TikTok as a potential target of foreign influence campaigns.

Despite such allegations, TikTok has clocked 2 billion users globally, and as many as 611 million users in India.