TikTok will suppress videos by ‘ugly’ and poor Tik Tok users

TikTok will suppress videos by ‘ugly’ and poor Tik Tok users

Content Moderators were told to not promote posts from users with “ugly facial looks.” TikTok said it is not using these policies any longer.


Tik Tok has ordered content moderators to redact videos of users who are poor or have ugly facial features and also asked the moderators to delete certain parts of the political speech in Livestreams. 

The Intercept published internal documents over the weekend, it showed that moderators are instructed by the social network (Tik Tok) to not promote videos of people with “ugly facial looks”, have too many wrinkles, fangs, and scars to the “For You” page of the App. when a video is highlighted in the For You page it helps the user in attracting more followers and views. Tik Tok users with “obvious beer belly” and users who shot the video in a slum or “shabby and dilapidated” environment will be excluded from the “For you” page of the app. 

Tik Tok is owned by a tech company in China named ByteDance, is facing national scrutiny and security concerns from US lawmakers. This is just another peek of what social network bars and allows on this popular short video app. Tik Tok is famous for its quirky and cool 15-seconds videos and is one of the latest social networks who is under fire and scrutiny for the content it features prominently.

One document also showed that content moderators are also asked to censor or delete ceratin Livestream political speech, as told by the Intercept. This includes any content which is capable of becoming ‘Controversial’ like the broadcasts about police, military or any “state organs”.

This is not the first time that the concerns are raised over Tik Tok’s leaked content rules. Last Year, Company instructed the moderators to censor content that hinders the Chinese foreign policy like Tibetan independence and Tiananmen square, as reported by The Guardian.

In December a german site Netzpolitik reported Tik Tok’s content rules were leaked and the document showed that the app was hiding the videos of people with physical disabilities as an effort to fight against bullying.

Tik Tok spokesperson said that the content rules are published by the Intercept are similar or same to the guidelines that were published earlier by the Netzpolitik and The Guardian. The Intercept reported that these guidelines were being implied by the social network until the last date of 2019.

“As we told The Guardian and Netzpolitik last year when they originally reported this, the guidelines The Intercept published are no longer in use and were already out of use when The Intercept accessed them,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. 

The Wall Street Journal reported On Sunday that TikTok would not imply content moderators rules any longer in China to monitor the overseas content. 

A TikTok spokesperson stated that the social network expects to transfer the work to local teams of the markets from the Trust and Safety team, they will cover it within a few weeks.

“We are working to find job options within the company for the China-based employees,” said the spokesperson. “These teams had been primarily helping with overnight coverage for some non-US regions.”


Shubhrata Choudhary