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TikTok wants to be more transparent with its algorithms

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TikTok wants to be more transparent with its algorithms 2

There has been a lot of criticism laid at the Chinese own social media app TikTok and concerns that the information gathered by its various algorithms pose a security threat to many companies. The company, in a new blog post from TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, has responded saying that are willing to be completely transparent and even make their algorithms complete visible for others to see:

[We] believe our entire industry should be held to an exceptionally high standard. That’s why we believe all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. We will not wait for regulation to come, but instead, TikTok has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Centre for moderation and data practices

The company is also challenging other similar companies to do the same with their different data algorithms available to the public to showcase that nothing untoward is happening. Whether people will believe the companies are posting legitimate algorithms (or incomplete algorithms with vital parts missing) though is perhaps another thing altogether.

The timing of this announcement is also quite relevant as the US tech companies are currently being interrogated by the US government’s antitrust panel over uncompetitive practices and too much ownership of data and so it will be interesting to see if this move warrants anything on that side. As for that ban from many company’s on advertising on the TikTok platform the company also had the following to say:

Without TikTok, American advertisers would again be left with few choices. Competition would dry up and so too will an outlet for America’s creative energy… We are willing to take all necessary steps to ensure the long-term availability and success of TikTok.

I think a lot of the poor publicity that is coming TikTok’s way have little od with anything the company itself has done and is more a reflection of ongoing tension between the Us and Chinese governments. Competition is a good thing and while I personally can’t stand TikTok, its competition is a good thing to the internet world and hopefully, it doesn’t end up losing out simply due to the issues between the two governments.

Last Updated: July 31, 2020

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