Netzpolitik: TikTok restricted the coverage of videos of people with disabilities and LGBT people

So the social network wanted to protect users from bullying, but the policy turned out to be discriminatory.

TikTok has established rules that limit the reach of people with disabilities and autism, as well as LGBT people and fat people. This was reported by the German edition of Netzpolitik, citing anonymous sources in the company.

According to the idea of ​​social network management, the rules should protect users who are likely to be exposed to bullying. Moderators themselves decided which users belong to the “special category” and manually limited their reach. At the same time, popularity in TikTok directly depends on whether the content falls on the recommendations page.

Netzpolitik sources said that videos from one “risk category” are recommended only to users who are in the same country as the author of the video. Videos that fall into the Auto R category no longer fall into the recommendations stream after a certain number of views.

Users with disabilities, face defects, autism, Down syndrome, LGBT people, and also “fat and confident” were on the Auto R list. The publication doubted that the moderator of the social network can diagnose autism in a minute clip.

A TikTok representative told the publication that the company was not going to take such an approach as a long-term solution. At the same time, Netzpolitik sources noted that the rules entered into force only in September 2019. The company also emphasized that new, more detailed bullying protection rules have now entered into force.

In September, TikTok was accused of political censorship of commercials that could offend the Chinese government. At the end of November, the company blocked a user who spoke about the reprisals of Muslims in China under the guise of makeup lessons, but then restored her account.

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