In response to the report of the College of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, TikTok will not be worse than Fb in information safety or privateness / Digital Data World
TikTok has around 700 million active users from around the world and it is estimated that the number of users will reach up to one billion this year. TikTok has gained popularity in recent years where people can share any type of video including education, health tips, sports, etc. However, TikTok faces many restrictions and this app is now banned in India and Pakistan because of its content moderation practices and even the Trump administration has blamed this app for leaking the privacy of America’s citizens to the Chinese government. TikTok denied all allegations. Although the Trump administration banned this app in the country, most recently in December, a federal judge lifted the ban and the Trump administration’s attorney appealed after a month to ban the app again.
However, according to a report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, TikTok and its other Chinese counterpart, Douyin, are no more threatening than other social media platforms like Facebook, as there is still no evidence that TikTok is collecting its users’ data without theirs Permission. In China, the app’s developers are responsible for the type of content hosted on the platform, which makes them more aggressively filtering on government rules, including those that restrict freedom of expression. The separate version of the app that TikTok created called Douyin makes sense to comply with each country’s regulations.
The study found that neither Douyin nor TikTok exhibited malware-like behavior. Even Douyin has dynamic code loading and server-side search censorship. However, TikTok doesn’t have the same features, but both apps have the source code that prevents the spread of hate speech, suicidal content, and even private and sensitive information.
In February, the Biden government canceled the campaigns that forced Chinese company ByteDance to sell TikTok. If we compare TikTok to Facebook, there is millions of misinformation, hate speech, and even child abuse cases reported on Facebook more than any other platform. It is also reported that Facebook shares most of the data with third parties.
In TikTok, the end result of changing the common code base seems to be a product that is largely in line with international industry standards, as the study found no evidence of undesirable features like douyin, nor does it show a large deviation in privacy and security compared to Facebook and others Social media platforms. However, if you can’t find evidence of safety concerns, it doesn’t mean it isn’t, but less than Facebook.
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