One billion users, but bans mount up for TikTok

PARIS, Feb 24 — TikTok’s breakneck rise from area of interest video-sharing app to world social media behemoth has introduced loads of scrutiny, significantly over its hyperlinks to China.

The European Fee is the newest organisation to ban the app from its tools, following comparable strikes in the US.

So is TikTok a spying software for Beijing, a enjoyable app, or each?

Underneath stress

World motion in opposition to TikTok, owned by Chinese language agency ByteDance, kicked off in earnest in India in 2020.

It was among the many Chinese language apps barred after lethal clashes on the border between the 2 nations, with New Delhi saying it was defending its sovereignty.

The identical yr, US President Donald Trump threatened a ban and accused TikTok of spying for China — an concept that has gained floor in Washington.

TikTok was pressured to confess ByteDance staff in China had accessed Individuals’ information but it surely has at all times denied turning over information to the Chinese language authorities.

The corporate has moved to assuage US fears, asserting in June 2022 that it could retailer all information on American customers on US-based servers.

Nevertheless, in January US federal staff have been banned from downloading the app, with the European Fee following go well with on Thursday to “shield the establishment’s information”, it mentioned.

One billion customers

Bans haven’t halted TikTok’s development.

With a couple of billion energetic customers it’s the sixth most used social platform on the planet, in keeping with the We Are Social advertising and marketing company.

Though it lags behind the likes of Meta’s long-dominant trio of Fb, WhatsApp and Instagram, its development amongst younger folks far outstrips its opponents.

Nearly a 3rd of TikTok customers are between 10 and 19 years previous, in keeping with the Wallaroo company.

Its speedy rise noticed it seize greater than US$11 billion in promoting income final yr, a threefold enhance in a single yr.

TikTok’s opponents rapidly copied its brief video format and steady scrolling, however to little avail.

Creator attraction

Tiktok’s enhancing options and highly effective algorithm have stored it forward of the sport, attracting a military of creators and influencers in addition to creating a lot of its personal.

However the algorithm is opaque and infrequently accused of main customers into digital content material silos.

TikTok and ByteDance staff additionally manually enhance the variety of views on sure content material, in keeping with a latest report in Forbes.

TikTok has mentioned handbook promotion solely impacts a tiny fraction of really helpful movies.


The app is usually accused of spreading disinformation, placing customers at risk with hazardous “problem” movies, and permitting pornography, despite the fact that it’s supposed to ban nudity.

French information web site Numerama reported a TikTok “pattern” just lately that concerned publishing pictures of penises.

A number of youngsters have additionally reportedly died whereas attempting to copy the so-called blackout problem, which includes customers holding their breath till they go out.

And round one-fifth of movies on topical points such because the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been discovered to be pretend or deceptive in a research by misinformation group NewsGuard.

AFP, together with greater than a dozen fact-checking organisations, is paid by TikTok in a number of nations in Asia and Oceania, Europe, the Center East and Spanish-speaking Latin America to confirm for inside moderation movies that doubtlessly comprise false data. The movies are eliminated by TikTok if the knowledge is proven to be false by AFP groups. — AFP


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