Mar 11, 2020 - Technology

TikTok plans Los Angeles "transparency center" to assuage critics

Illustration of someone cutting a "Made in China" tag from a TikTok logo

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok said Tuesday that it plans to open a "transparency center" in Los Angeles where experts can observe the Chinese-owned platform's moderation processes.

Why it matters: Critics have worried over the degree to which China might influence TikTok's content policies and practices, now or in the future.

Details: While the move is clearly aimed at providing insight into the company's operations, TikTok is expected to be selective about who it lets in the door.

  • Also, the center, part of the company's Culver City offices, won't necessarily be where TikTok's content review decisions are made, but rather provide a window onto them for outsiders.

The big picture: Opening the center is just the first phase of the company's effort to be more transparent, TikTok said."Later, we will expand the Center to include insight into our source code, and our efforts around data privacy and security," the company said in a statement.

  • This second phase, TikTok said, will be led by Roland Cloutier, who starts next month as the company's chief information security officer.

Go deeper: Report details TikTok security vulnerabilities in 2019

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