The hidden side of TikTok

All crazy about TikTok!

Thursday January 14 at 10:55 p.m. on France 2

TikTok, network of Chinese giant ByteDance, has conquered the world in four years. “Survey add-on” explores the many facets of this application which has already been downloaded over 2 billion times. Users post short videos of sketches and dances, which are then often imitated by their subscribers. What makes TikTok addictive is its algorithm, a well-kept secret that journalists here try to dissect with the help of a hacker. The network analyzes the type of content to which each user pays the most attention, to seduce them and then keep it as long as possible on the platform. The report reveals that the algorithm would censor what it considers “negative”, in particular by reducing the visibility of videos of people with disabilities, or having for example birthmarks, supposed to harm the pleasant image of the platform.

Half of French college students are already seduced: never has a social network aroused the enthusiasm of such a young audience, which has become the target of the application. Thus, although registrations are theoretically reserved for those over 13, the platform does not delete the accounts of the youngest, exposing them to vulgar content and sometimes very suggestive choreography.

But other users are trying to make the network a political tool to alert in particular to the condition of the Uyghurs in China. These videos were quickly censored, so that the application was accused by the United States of being in the pay of the Beijing government. The Chinese network is also suspected of eagerly spying on the data of its users … “Further investigation” tries to make the difference by pointing out that if TikTok is greedy for our personal information, its American alter egos, Facebook and Instagram, have nothing to envy him in the matter.


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