Tiktok Criticized for Limiting the Reach of Videos from Disabled People
Tiktok has been in news recently over security issues. This Chinese-owned app has been under scrutiny since October. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. called for a probe into TikTok, citing concerns over national security. But now the app is under fire because of its misguided policy to limit the reach of videos by the disabled.
The app was accused of suppressing videos from disabled, LGBTQ and overweight users. It even gave a reason for its biased step. They explained the decision as an attempt to tackle bullying. The social media app wanted to curb the bullying of disabled people on the app, so it took this decision.
It was Netzpolitik.org which cited leaked documents, and reported that TikTok’s moderators were instructed to mark videos of people with disabilities and limit their reach. All the videos of LGBTQ and overweight people were also placed on a list of “special users”. And the videos on this list had a limited reach.
But TikTok defended its decision and told Fox News that the policy was a temporary. And soon it would be changed in the future. It made a statement which mentioned that TIkTok took the decision solely because of the bullying on the app.
It also asked forgiveness, and said that -” While the intention was good, it became clear that the approach was wrong and we have since removed the policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protections.”
Many people voiced their discontent over the decision of TikTok. And slammed it online. Alice Wong, founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project tweeted on Wednesday. –
“TikTok, the social media sensation du jour, has apparently been hobbling users who have physical disabilities. It did so in a misguided attempt to shield these people from bullying — heavy emphasis on the word ‘misguided,’”.
Many controversies now cloud over the social media app TikTok. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Islamic State has been using TikTok as a recruitment tool.