Popular Chinese social media app TikTok is limiting the reach of videos from fat and gay people using the platform as a way to protect them from cyberbullying.
The revelation comes from moderation guideline documents obtained by the German tech blog, netzpolitik.org, published Monday. The guidelines feature a section titled “Imagery depicting a subject highly vulnerable to cyberbullying.”
Users could have their content’s reach limited if they are labeled as “special users,” a label which gay and fat people both fall under as TikTok considers them “susceptible to harassment or cyberbullying.”
The guidelines include example disabilities such as “facial disfigurement,” “Down syndrome,” and “autism” along with “facial problems,” such as “birthmark” and “slight squint.” Moderators determine if people are disabled in videos within half-a-minute of viewing, according to a source at TikTok.
A source familiar with the moderation said TikTok employees have complained about the policy, but their concerns were ignored by rule-makers in Beijing. Former U.S. employees told the Washington Post last month the social media company would demand U.S. content meet Chinese censorship demands.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have voiced concern that the social media platform could be used as a weapon by the Chinese government.
The post ‘Special users’: Chinese app TikTok limiting reach of videos from fat and gay people appeared first on Washington Examiner.