Nov 28, 2019

TikTok apologizes after deleting post on China's Uighur Muslims

A TikTok logo on a mobile device. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

TikTok apologized on Wednesday for temporarily deleting a viral TikTok post that compared China's mass detention of Uighur Muslims to the Holocaust, citing a "human moderation error."

Why it matters: TikTok is trying to distance itself from its Chinese ownership amid recent reports that moderators have been told to censor videos that reference topics deemed off-limits by the Chinese Communist Party, and U.S. lawmakers' interest in probing the app for censorship.

Background: TikTok previously disputed that it blocked 17-year-old Feroza Aziz's viral post on Chinese Uighurs, after banning Aziz's phone on Nov. 25 over a different post that featured a picture of Osama bin Laden.

  • TikTok says that ban, enacted over a violation of sharing terrorist imagery, would not have affected videos already posted to Aziz's account.
  • Aziz's post on Chinese Uighurs was offline for 50 minutes, according to TikTok.

What's next: TikTok says it will review its moderation policies and is on track to release a transparency report and updated Community Guidelines within the next two months.

Go deeper: TikTok looks to downplay its China ties

Go deeper

Report: TikTok weighs direct shopping for users

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok may add a direct shopping tool for users as it secures big advertisers like Walmart, Nike and Asos, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions for TikTok, told FT that the app's current growth stage is "very similar" to when he joined Facebook in 2007.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019

Under fire, TikTok tweaks digital gift policy

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

TikTok will raise the minimum age for in-app purchases for its popular social media app this month as it faces growing congressional scrutiny.

The big picture: TikTok is taking hits on fronts ranging from concerns about Chinese control and censorship to safeguarding children's privacy.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

TikTok looks to downplay its China ties

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As lawmakers and regulators zero in on issues around Chinese tech companies and U.S. tech companies' ties to China, the longstanding low U.S. profile of Chinese tech brands is beginning to change.

The big picture: Our devices are made in China but our software and services, for the most part, aren't. TikTok is a big exception — and now the video-sharing network is under fire amid concerns over its Chinese ownership and the potential for censorship or risks to user data.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019