TikTok Limits Access to Data Tool Amid Criticism

TikTok restrains tool that tracks popular hashtags.
TikTok has quietly restricted its flagship Creative Center tool. Used to track the success of hashtags, advertisers, researchers, and lawmakers exploit this feature to examine the app’s content concerning the Israel-Hamas war and geopolitics. TikTok’s critics apply the tool to support their statements that the app exhibits inadequate content moderation, and it is influence by Beijing. The Creative Center is now centered on sharing hashtag data concerning various industries such as pets and travel. TikTok representative Alex Haurek said, “Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have misused the Center’s search function to draw inaccurate conclusions, so we are changing some of the features to ensure it is used for its intended purpose.” Consequently, the app has come under analysis since the start of the war as concerns mount over the app’s influence and Beijing’s possible involvement in the content displayed. The Network Contagion Research Institute at Rutgers University found that topics, such as the Uyghur population and Hong Kong protests which China suppresses, received limited representation compared to Instagram’s overrepresentation. The tool’s restrictions have made data concerning topics like #BLM, #Trump2024, and #Biden unobtainable. These sudden changes signify odd behavior from TikTok, especially considering that previously, the app distanced itself from Beijing’s influence. TikTok stated, “The report used a flawed methodology to reach a predetermined, false conclusion,” in response to the accusations. Despite this, lawmakers and experts have shown appreciation for the report’s part in regulating TikTok. Additionally, other experts have proposed that the United States should impose regulations compelling social media platforms to share their data with external researchers.

News

Moms Managing Girl Influencers: A Marketplace Stalked by Men

Elissa began receiving threatening messages early last year from a person calling themselves “Instamodelfan” targeting her daughter’s Instagram account. Despite having over 100,000 followers, the account has been under scrutiny for potentially exploiting children in exchange for money. However, the issue runs deeper than that. Research from The New York Times found that the platform […]

Read More
News

Insights from The Times’s Investigation of Child Influencers

Instagram maintains the 13-year-old minimum age for accounts, but parents can take control, largely for their daughters’ ambitions to become influencers. Parents initiate their child’s modeling career or gain favor from clothing brands, but a dark subculture emerges, controlled by men attracted to minors, as per The New York Times. The emergence of mom-run profiles […]

Read More
News

Rising Threat: China’s Growing Cyber Espionage and the New Vulnerability

Beijing’s Networks Expanding Hacking Efforts China has spread its hacking reach with new tools that exploit computer vulnerabilities and a network of contracted vendors. The large scale of China’s hacking operations poses a significant threat, with the FBI reporting China’s hacking program to be larger than all major nations combined. The U.S. has tracked consistent […]

Read More