CEO Of TikTok Unveils Details Concerning Social Media Platform’s Huge Censorship Operation

Shou Zi Chew, CEO of social media video platform TikTok, revealed Thursday that the company has “tens of thousands” of workers who are dedicated to moderating content that is published to the app. That’s a massive network of employees with a single goal of monitoring what kind of content is posted and shared across the globe. And you can guarantee that anyone who has a political position that is to the right Karl Marx and Mao is probably heavily censored.

American lawmakers have raised concerns over allegations that information on TikTok, which is controlled by Chinese technology company ByteDance, can be manipulated by associates of the Chinese Communist Party. Some have also noted that TikTok is one of several large social media sites which tend to censor conservative viewpoints. Chew affirmed in an interview at a TED conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, that his company has a massive content moderation operation based in Ireland which uses artificial intelligence systems to censor posts,” the Daily Wire reported.

“There are some bad actors who come on the internet, they post bad content. Our approach is that we have very clear community guidelines. We’re very transparent about what is allowed and what is not allowed on our platform. No executives make any ad hoc decisions,” Chew remarked. “Based on that, we have built a team that is tens of thousands of people plus machines in order to identify content that is bad, and actively, proactively remove it from the platform.”

The TikTok CEO then went on to add that the staffers for this little content moderation project are “one of the most important cost items” at his company, but, he says, they are “completely worth” the cost. He then confessed that human employees are necessary because the artificial intelligence systems that are employed by his company are “not perfect.”

“You have to complement them with a lot of human beings,” he added. “A lot of the progress in AI in general is making that kind of content moderation capabilities a lot better. We’re going to get more precise, we’re going to get more specific.”

And, as stated in the opening paragraph, many a conservative commentator has been censored by TikTok for reasons that are about as clear as mud. For example, Jeremy Boreing, the co-CEO of the Daily Wire, made an appearance on the company’s “Comment Section” program with Brett Cooper, stated he had been permanently booted from the platform for unclear reasons. Cooper herself announced on Tuesday that her account was finally reinstated after both public and legal pressure.

“We still don’t know why I was banned in the first place. They won’t give us an answer. They never do,” she recalled, speaking of the situation. “I’m proud to be on a team that never bends a knee, always fights smart, and consistently wins.”

Beyond the concerns some lawmakers have cited over the company’s content moderation practices, Democratic and Republican officials alike have accused TikTok of permitting members of the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data. President Joe Biden and several state officials have banned TikTok from government devices over data security and surveillance concerns after reports indicated that ByteDance staffers in China used the platform to monitor the locations of specific American users,” the Daily Wire said.

Chew then went on to insist in the testimony he delivered before the House Energy and Commerce Committee a month ago that a forced selling off of TikTok to an American based company wouldn’t resolve any of the potential national security issues that have been cited by congressional lawmakers.

“I am well aware that the fact that ByteDance has Chinese founders has prompted concerns that our platform could be used as or become a tool of China or the Chinese Communist Party,” the executive said. “Divestment doesn’t address the fundamental concerns that I have heard, as a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. This is not an issue of nationality.”

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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