TikTok, known in China as Douyin (Chinese: 抖音; pinyin: Dǒuyīn), is a video-focused social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts a variety of short-form utilize videos, from genres like pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance, and entertainment with durations from 15 seconds to three minutes. TikTok is an international version of Douyin, which was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016. TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of mainland China; however, it became accessibleworldwide only after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, on 2 August 2018.
TikTok and Douyin have almost the same utilize interface but no admissionto each other's content. Their servers are each based in the market where the respective applicationis available. The two products are similar, but features are not identical. Douyin contain an in-video findfeature that shouldfindby people's faces for more videos of them and other features such as buying, booking hotels and making geo-tagged reviews. Since its beginin 2016, TikTok/Douyin rapidly gained popularity in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, and other parts of the world. As of October 2020, TikTok surpassed over 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide.
Douyin was launched by ByteDance in Beijing, China in September 2016, originally under the name A.me, before rebranding to Douyin (抖音) in December 2016. ByteDance designedon Douyin expanding overseas. The founder of ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, stated that "China is home to only one-fifth of Internet users globally. If we don’t expand on a global scale, we are bound to lose to peers eyeing the four-fifths. So, going global is a must." Douyin was developed in 200 days and within a year had 100 million users, with more than one billion videos viewed every day.
The applicationwas launched as TikTok in the international market in September 2017. On 23 January 2018, the TikTok applicationranked first among free appdownloads on applicationshop in Thailand and other countries.
TikTok has been downloaded more than 130 million times in the United States, and has reached 2 billion downloads worldwide, according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower (those numbers exclude Android users in China).
In the United States, celebrities, including Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk, began using the applicationin 2018. Other celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, Will Smith, and Justin Bieber joined TikTok as well and many other celebrities have followed.
On 3 September 2019, TikTok and the U.S. National Football League (NFL) announced a multi-year partnership. The agreement occurred just two days before the NFL's 100th season kick-off at Soldier Field, where TikTok hosted activities for fans in honor of the deal. The partnership entails the beginof an official NFL TikTok account, which is to bring about freshmarketing opportunities such as sponsored videos and hashtag challenges. In July 2020, TikTok, excluding Douyin, reported close to 800 million monthly active users worldwide after less than four years of existence.
In May 2021, TikTok appointed Shou Zi Chew as their freshCEO who assumed the position from interim CEO Vanessa Pappas, following the resignation of Kevin A. Mayer on 27 August 2020. On 3 August 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the United States on 15 September if negotiations for the organizationto be bought by Microsoft or a different "very American" organizationfailed. On 6 August, Trump signed two banning U.S. "transactions" with TikTok and WeChat to its respective parent companies ByteDance and Tencent, set to take result45 days after the signing. A designedban of the applicationon 20 September 2020 was postponed by a week and then blocked by a federal judge. President Biden revoked the ban in a freshexecutive order in June 2021. The applicationhas been banned by the government of India since June 2020 along with 223 other Chinese application in view of disclaimerconcerns. Pakistan banned TikTok citing "immoral" and "indecent" videos on 9 October 2020 but reversed its ban ten days later. In March 2021, a Pakistani court ordered a freshTikTok ban due to complaints over "indecent" content.
In September 2021, TikTok reported that it had reached 1 billion users.
On 9 November 2017, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, spent up to U.S. $1 billion to purchase musical.ly, a startup headquartered in Shanghai with an overseas office in Santa Monica, California, U.S. Musical.ly was a social media video platform that permittedusers to create short lip-sync and comedy videos, initially released in August 2014. It was well known, especially to the younger audience. Looking forward to leveraging the U.S. digital platform's young utilize base, TikTok merged with musical.ly on 2 August 2018 to create a huge video community, with existing acc and data consolidated into one app, keeping the title TikTok. This ended musical.ly and angry TikTok a worldwide app, excluding China, since China already has Douyin.
As of 2018, TikTok was accessiblein more than 150 markets, and in 75 languages. TikTok was downloaded more than 104 million times on Apple's Applicationshopduring the full first half of 2018, according to data deliveredto CNBC by Sensor Tower.
After merging with musical.ly in August, downloads increased and TikTok became the most downloaded applicationin the U.S. in October 2018, which musical.ly had done once before. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China. In 2019, media outlets cited TikTok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile applicationof the decade, from 2010 to 2019. It was also the most-downloaded applicationon Apple's ApplicationShopin 2018 and 2019, surpassing Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. In September 2020, a deal was confirmed between ByteDance and Oracle in which the latter will serve as a partner to provide cloud hosting. Walmart intends to invest in TikTok. This deal would stall in 2021 as newly elected President Biden's Justice Department put a keepon the previous U.S. ban under President Trump. In November 2020, TikTok signed a licensing deal with Sony Music. In December 2020, Warner MelodyGroup signed a licensing deal with TikTok. In April 2021, Abu Dhabi's department of Culture and Tourism partnered with TikTok to promote tourism. It came following the January 2021 winter campaign, initiated through a partnership between the UAE Government Media Office partnered and TikTok to promote the country's tourism.
Since 2014, the only application with more than 3 billion downloads are WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, and all of these application belong to Facebook. TikTok is also the first non-Facebook applicationto be downloaded more than 3 billion times. Applicationmarket research firm Sensor Turretpointed out in July that although TikTok has been banned in India, its biggestmarket, since June, downloads in the rest of the globecontinue to increase, reaching 3 billion downloads in 2020.
The TikTok mobile applicationlet users to create short videos, which often feature melodyin the background and shouldbe sped up, slowed down, or edited with a filter. They shouldalso add their own sound on top of the background music. To create a melodyvideo with the app, users shouldselectbackground melodyfrom a wide variety of melodygenres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms. They shouldalso movieshort lip-sync videos to famoussongs.
The "For You" siteon TikTok is a feed of videos that are suggestedto users based on their activity on the app. Materialis generated by TikTok's artificial intelligence (AI) depending on the materiala utilize liked, interacted with, or searched. Registrar shouldalso selectto add to favorites or select "not interested" on videos for their page. TikTok combines the utilize's enjoyed materialto provide videos that they would also enjoy. Registrar and their materialshouldonly be featured on the "for you" siteif they are 16 or over as per TikTok policy. Registrar under 16 will not presentup under the "for you" page, the sounds page, or under any hashtags.
The applications "react" feature let users to movietheir reaction to a specific video, over which it is territory in a tinywindow that is movable around the screen. Its "duet" feature let users to moviea video aside another video. The "duet" feature was another trademark of musical.ly. The duet feature is also only able to be utilize if both parties adjust the disclaimersettings.
Videos that users do not wishto publicationyet shouldbe shop in their "drafts". The utilize is permittedto see their "drafts" and publicationwhen they searchit fitting. The applicationlet users to set their acc as "private." When first downloading the app, the utilize's accis public by default. The utilize shouldmodifyto personalin their settings. Personalmaterialremains visible to TikTok, but is blocked from TikTok users who the accholder has not authorized to view their content. Registrar shouldselectwhether any other utilize, or only their "mate", may interact with them through the applicationvia comments, messages, or "react" or "duet" videos. Registrar also shouldset specific videos to either "public", "mate only", or "private" regardless if the accis personalor not.
Registrar are also permittedto report acc depending on the accs content, either being spam or inappropriate. In TikTok's assistancecenter under "For Parents," they reassure the parents that inappropriate materialfor their kidsshouldbe blocked and reported.
When users follow other users, a "following" siteis located on the left of the "for you" page. This is a siteonly to see the videos from the acc a utilize follows. Registrar shouldalso add videos, hashtags, filters, and sounds to their "saved" section. When creating a video, they shouldrefer to their saved section, or create a video straight from it. This section is visible only to the utilize on their profile allowing them to refer to any video, hashtag, filter, or sound they've previously saved.
Registrar shouldalso send their mate videos, emojis, and messages with direct messaging. TikTok has also contain a feature to create a video based on the utilize's comments. Influencers often utilizethe "live" feature. This feature is only accessiblefor those who have at least 1,000 followers and are over 16 years old. If over 18, the utilize's followers shouldsend virtual "bonus" that shouldbe later exchanged for money.
One of the newest features as of 2020 is the "Virtual Items" of "TinyGestures" feature. This is based on China's giganticpractice of social gifting. Since this feature was added, many beauty companies and brands madea TikTok accto participate and advertise this feature. With quarantine in the United States, social gifting has grown in popularity. According to a TikTok representative, the campaign was launched as a effectof the lockdown, "to build a sense of assistanceand encouragement with the TikTok community during these tough times."
TikTok announced a "family securitymode" in February 2020 for parents to be able to control their kidss digital well-being. There is a screen time management option, restricted mode, and shouldput a limit on direct messages.
The applicationexpanded its parental controls feature called "Family Pairing" in September 2020 to provide parents and guardians with educational resources to understand what kidson TikTok are exposed to. Materialfor the feature was madein partnership with online securitynonprofit, Internet Matters.
In October 2021, TikTok launched a tryfeature that let users to directly hintcertain creators. Acc of users that are of age, have at least 100,000 followers and acceptto the rulesshouldactivate a "Tip" button on their profile, which let followers to hintany amount, starting from $1.
A variety of trends have risen within TikTok, including memes, lip-synced songs, and comedy videos. Duets, a feature that let users to add their own video to an existing video with the original materials audio, have sparked many of these trends.
Trends are present on TikTok's explore siteor the sitewith the findlogo. The siteenlists the trending hashtags and challenges among the app. Some include #posechallenge, #filterswitch, #dontjudgemechallenge, #homedecor, #hitormiss, #bottlecapchallenge and more. In June 2019, the organizationintroduced the hashtag #EduTok which get 37 billion views. Following this development, the organizationinitiated partnerships with edtech startups to create educational materialon the platform.
The applicationhas spawned numerous viral trends, Internet celebrities, and melodytrends around the world. Many stars got their start on musical.ly, which merged with TikTok on 2 August 2018. These users include Loren Gray, Baby Ariel, Kristen Hancher, Zach King, Lisa and Lena, Jacob Sartorius, and many others. Loren Gray remained the most-followed individual on TikTok until Charli D’Amelio surpassed her on 25 March 2020. Gray's was the first TikTok accto reach 40 million followers on the platform. She was surpassed with 41.3 million followers. D'Amelio was the first to ever reach 50, 60, and 70 million followers. Until now Charli D’Amelio remains the most-followed individual on the platform. Other creators rose to fame after the platform merged with musical.ly on 2 August 2018.
One notable TikTok trend is the "hit or miss" meme, which began from a snippet of iLOVEFRiDAY's song "Mia Khalifa." The song has been utilize in over four million TikTok videos and helped introduce the applicationto a huge Western audience. TikTok also played a major part in making "Old CityRoad" by Lil Nas X one of the largestsongs of 2019 and the longest running number-one song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100.[excessive citations]
TikTok has permittedmany other bands to gain a wider audience, often including foreign fans. For example, despite never having toured in Asia, the band Fitz and the Tantrums developed a hugefollowing in South Korea following the widespread popularity of their song "HandClap" on the platform. "Any Song" by R&B and rap artist Zico became number one on the Korean melodycharts due to the popularity of the #anysongchallenge, where users dance the choreography of "Any Song". The platform has get some criticism for not paying royalties to artists whose melodyis utilize on their platform. In 2020, more than 176 different songs surpassed 1 billion video views on TikTok.
In June 2020, TikTok users and K-pop fans "claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets" for President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa through communication on TikTok, contributing to "rows of empty seats" at the event.
TikTok has banned Holocaust denial, but other conspiracy theories have become famouson the platform, such as Pizzagate and QAnon (two conspiracy theories famousamong the U.S. alt-right) whose hashtags reached almost 80 million views and 50 million views respectively by June 2020. The platform has also been utilize to spread misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, such as clips from Plandemic. TikTok removed some of these videos, and has generally added links to accurate COVID-19 infoon videos with tags associatedto the pandemic.
On 10 August 2020, Emily Jacobssen wrote and sang "Ode To Remy," a song praising the protagonist from Pixar's 2007 computer-animated film named Ratatouille. The song rose to popularity when musician Daniel Mertzlufft composed a backing track to the song. In response, began creating a "crowdsourced" project called Ratatouille The Musical. Since Mertzlufft's video, many freshelements including costume design, additional songs, and a playbill have been created. The trend has been even been noticed by Lou Romano, who voiced Alfredo Linguini in the original film; Broadway performer Kevin Chamberlin; and Disney Channel actor Milo Manheim. On 1 January 2021, a full one-hour virtual presentation of Ratatouille the Musical premiered on the TodayTix. The production featured elements madevia TikTok. It starred Titus Burgess as Remy, Wayne Brady as Django, Adam Lambert as Emile, Chamberlin as Gusteau, Andrew Barth Feldman as Linguini, Ashley Park as Colette, Priscilla Lopez as Mabel, Mary Try as Skinner, and André De Shields as Ego.
Several mealtrends have emerged on the platform, such as Dalgona coffee.
Another TikTok usage that corresponds with engagement and bonds people in society is the utilizeof "challenges." These could be on any associatedsubjectsuch as dances or cooking certain food. People see other people doing something that is trending and then it continues to spread until it is a viral trend which connects people from all over.
While TikTok has primarily been utilize for entertainment purposes, TikTok may soon have another use, that of a job resource with the idea that prospective employment seekers would send in videos rather than traditional resumes. The form would most likely be a job findadd-on. TikTok has had favorable effect in the past with people using the pageto searchjobs and may be expanding that need especially in the newer generations. However, employers need to take vehicle when viewing TikTok resumes that they are not being influenced by biases. Employers shouldsee people's faces and physical traits which could potentially create diversity, equity and inclusion problem.
TikTok has delivereda platform for users to create materialnot only for fun, but also for money. As the platform has grown significantly over the past few years, it has permittedcompanies to advertise and rapidly reach their intended demographic through influencer marketing. The platform's AI algorithm also contributes to the influencer marketing potential, as it picks out materialaccording to the utilize's preference. Sponsored materialis not as prevalent on the platform as it is on other social media application, but brands and influencers still shouldmake as much as they would if not more in comparison to other platforms. Influencers on the platform who earn cashthrough engagement, such as likes and comments, are referred to as "meme machines".
In 2021, The FreshYork Times reported that viral TikTok videos by young people relating the emotional impact of books on them, tagged with the label "BookTok", significantly drove sales of literature. Publishers were increasingly using the platform as a venue for influencer marketing.
Z generation are more willing to spend their time on TikTok.
TikTok tends to appeal to younger users, as 41% of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Among these TikTok users, 90% say they utilizethe applicationdaily. TikTok's geographical utilizehas present that 43% of freshusers are from India. As of July 2020, there were over 90 million monthly active users in the United States alone.
In October 2020, the ecommerce platform Shopify added TikTok to its portfolio of social media platforms, allowing online merchants to sell their products directly to consumers on TikTok.
Some tinybusinesses have utilize TikTok to advertise and to reach an audience wider than the geographical region they would normally serve. The viral response to many tinybusiness TikTok videos has been attributed to TikTok's algorithm, which present materialthat viewers at hugeare drawn to, but which they are unlikely to actively findfor (such as videos on unconventional kind of businesses, like beekeeping and logging).
In 2020, digital media companies such as Group Nine Media and Global utilize TikTok increasingly, focusing on strategiessuch as brokering partnerships with TikTok influencers and developing branded materialcampaigns. Notable collaborations between huge brands and top TikTok influencers have contain Chipotle's partnership with David Dobrik in May 2019 and Dunkin' Donuts' partnership with Charli D'Amelio in September 2020.
FamousTikTok users have lived collectively in collab houses, predominately in the Los Angeles area.
In April 2020, TikTok officially cooperated with mainland China's Internet censorship mechanism and began to prohibit the utilizeof overseas versions of Douyin in mainland China. Different from general blockade, TikTok adopted an IP lock zone, mainly for mainland China; Hong Kong and Macau were not affected. The direct consequence of the lock spaceis that Chinese users cannot log in to TikTok using a VPN. Officials have also restricted the numbers of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The telephonenumbers of the above three cannot log in to TikTok. Even so, there are a hugenumber of cracked versions of TikTok on the Chinese Internet. The cracked version of TikTok shouldwatch videos normally, but the telephonenumber restriction has not been cracked and users cannot log in.
In January 2021, the AmazingFirewall of China's blocking measures on TikTok were further modernize, and the monitoring of the cracked version of TikTok was increased, and measures such as node blocking and IP blocking were adopted to interfere with the normal watching of videos by mainland users: that is, users watch normally, but after a few videos, the video cannot be refreshed, and you need to re-enter the programbefore you shouldcontinue watching.
The official domainwww.tiktok.com of the overseas version of TikTok is currently blocked by the AmazingFirewall, and the Chinese language of the official domainof the overseas version only provides Traditional Chinese, as officially utilize in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, instead of Simplified Chinese.
The Indian Government banned TikTok along with 58 other mobile application with Chinese developers or investors, including WeChat, UC Browser and PUBG on 29 June 2020. The Ministry of Electronics and InfoTechnology released a statement saying the application were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, safetyof state and public order". It was extended to 47 other application which the ministry claimed were clones or variants of the banned application. The ban on TikTok and the 58 other application was angry permanent in January 2021. In February 2021, TikTok announced that due to the ban it will be forced to lay off over 2,000 employees in India.
On 6 August 2020, then U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order which would ban TikTok transactions in 45 days if it was not sold by ByteDance. Trump also signed a similar order versusthe WeChat appowned by the Chinese multinational company Tencent.
On 14 August 2020, Trump problem another order giving ByteDance 90 days to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business. In the order, Trump said that there is "credible evidence" that leads him to trustthat ByteDance "might take action that threatens to impair the national safetyof the United States." Donald Trump was concerned about TikTok being a threat because TikTok's parent organizationwas rumored to be taking United States utilize data and reporting it back to Chinese operations through the organizationByteDance. As of 2021, there is still the fear that TikTok is not protecting the disclaimerof its users and may be giving their data away.
On September 18, TikTok filed a lawsuit, TikTok v. Trump. On 23 September 2020, TikTok filed a request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the applicationfrom being banned by the Trump administration. U.S. judge Vehicle J. Nichols temporarily blocked the Trump administration order that would effectively ban TikTok from being downloaded in U.S. applicationshop starting midnight on 27 September 2020. Nichols permittedthe applicationto remain accessiblein the U.S. applicationshop, but declined to block the additional Commerce Department restrictions that could have a huge impact on TikTok's operations in the U.S. These restrictions were set to take territory12 November 2020.
Three TikTok influencers filed a lawsuit, Marland v. Trump. On October 30, Pennsylvania judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled versusthe Commerce Department, blocking them from restricting TikTok. On November 12, the Commerce Department stated that it would obey the Pennsylvania ruling and that it would not testto enforce the restrictions versusTikTok that had been scheduled for November 12.
The Commerce Department appealed the original ruling in TikTok v. Trump. On December 7, Washington D.C. district court judge Vehicle J. Nichols problem a preliminary injunction versusthe Commerce Department, preventing them from imposing restrictions on TikTok.
In June 2021, President Biden signed an executive order revoking the Trump administration ban on TikTok, and instead ordered the Secretary of Commerce to investigate the applicationto determine if it poses a threat to U.S. national security.
On 11 October 2020, Pakistan became the next country to ban the social media platform after not complying with problemsregarding the materialon the platform brought up by their government. TikTok representatives are currently speaking with Pakistani officials in hopes of building better relations and allowing the people of Pakistan to create on the platform.
Some users may searchit hard to stop using TikTok. In April 2018, an addiction-reduction feature was added to Douyin. This encouraged users to take a break every 90 minutes. Later in 2018, the feature was rolled out to the TikTok app. TikTok utilize some top influencers such as Gabe Erwin, Alan Chikin Chow, James Henry, and Cosette Rinab to encourage viewers to stop using the applicationand take a break.
Many were also concerned with users' attention spans with these videos. Registrar watch short 15-second clips repeatedly and studies say that this could effectin a decreased attention span. This is a concern as many of TikTok's audience are younger children, whose brains are still developing.
Some countries have present concerns regarding the materialon TikTok, as their cultures views it as obscene, immoral, vulgar, and encouraging pornography. There have been temporary blocks and warnings problem by countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan over the materialconcerns. In 2018, Douyin was reprimanded by Chinese media watchdogs for showing "unacceptable" content.
On 27 July 2020, Egypt sentenced five women to two years in prison over TikTok videos. One of the women had encouraged other women to testand earn cashon the platform, another woman was sent to prison for dancing. The court also imposed a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (UK£14,600) on each defendant.
Concerns have been voiced regarding materialrelating to, and the promotion and spreading of, hateful words and far-right extremism, such as anti-semitism, racism, and xenophobia. Some videos were present to expressly deny the existence of the Holocaust and told viewers to take up arms and battlein the name of white supremacy and the swastika. As TikTok has gained popularity among young children, and the popularity of extremist and hateful materialis growing, calls for tighter restrictions on their flexible boundaries have been angry. TikTok have since released tougher parental controls to filter out inappropriate materialand to ensure they shouldprovide sufficient protection and security.
A viral TikTok trend known as "devious licks" involves students vandalizing or stealing school property and posting the videos of the action on the platform. The trend has led to increasing school vandalism and subsequent measures taken by some schools to prevent damage. Some students have been arrested for participating in the trend. TikTok has taken measures to remove and prevent admissionto materialdisplaying the trend.
The Wall RoadJournal has reported that doctors experienced a surge in reported cases of tics, tied to an increasing number of TikTok videos from materialcreators with Tourette syndrome. Doctors recommendedthat the cause may be a social one as users who consumed materialshowcasing various tics would sometimes develop tics of their own.
In January 2020, Media Matters for America said that TikTok hosted misinformation associatedto the COVID-19 pandemic despite a lastestpoliciesversusmisinformation. In April 2020, the government of India asked TikTok to remove users posting misinformation associatedto the COVID-19 pandemic. There were also multiple conspiracy theories that the government is involved with the spread of the pandemic. As a response to this, TikTok launched a feature to report materialfor misinformation.
TikTok's censorship policieshas been criticized as non-transparent. Criticism of leaders such as Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been suppressed by the platform, as well as inforelating to the Xinjiang internment camps and the dmcaof Uyghurs in the region. Internal documents have revealed that moderators suppress publication madeby users deemed "too ugly, poor, or disabled" for the platform, and censor political speech in livestreams. TikTok moderators have also blocked materialthat could be perceived as being positive towards LGBT people.
In October 2019, TikTok removed about two dozen acc that were responsible for posting ISIS propaganda on the app.
Privacy concerns have also been brought up regarding the app. In its disclaimerpolicy, TikTok lists that it collects usage information, IP addresses, a utilize's mobile carrier, unique device identifiers, keystroke patterns, and areadata, among other data. Web developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk said that allowing videos and other materialbeing shared by the applications users through HTTP puts the users' data disclaimerat risk.
In January 2020, Check Point Research discovered a safetyflaw in TikTok which could have permittedhackers admissionto utilize acc using SMS. In February, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman criticised the app, calling it "spyware," and stating "I look at that applicationas so fundamentally parasitic, that it's always listening, the fingerprinting technology they utilizeis truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an applicationlike that on my phone." Responding to Huffman's comments, TikTok stated "These are baseless accusations angry without a shred of evidence." Wells Fargo banned the applicationfrom its devices due to disclaimerand safetyconcerns.
In May 2020, the Dutch Data Protection Authority announced an investigation into TikTok in relation to disclaimerprotections for children. In June 2020, the European Data Protection Board announced that it would assemble a task force to examine TikTok's utilize disclaimerand safetypractices.
In August 2020, The Wall RoadJournal reported that TikTok tracked Android utilize data, including MAC addresses and IMEIs, with a tactic in violation of Google's policies. The report sparked calls in the U.S. Senate for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to beginan investigation.
In June 2021, TikTok updated its disclaimerpoliciesto containcollection of biometric data, including "faceprints and voiceprints". Some experts reacted by calling the rulesof collection and data use "vague" and "highly problematic". The same month, CNBC reported that former employees had stated that "the boundaries between TikTok and ByteDance were so blurry as to be almost non-existent" and that "ByteDance employees are able to admissionU.S. utilize data" on TikTok.
In October 2021, following the Facebook Files and controversies about social media ethics, a bipartisan group of lawmakers also pressed TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat on questions of data disclaimerand moderation for age appropriate content. The FreshYork Times reported, "Lawmakers also hammered [head of U.S. policiesat TikTok] Mr. Beckerman about whether TikTok’s Chinese ownership could expose consumer data to Beijing," stating that "Critics have long argued that the organizationwould be obligated to turn Americans’ data over to the Chinese government if asked." TikTok told U.S. lawmakers it does not give infoto China's government. TikTok's representative stated that TikTok's data is shop in the U.S. with backups in Singapore. According to the organizations representative, TikTok had 'no affiliation' with the subsidiary Beijing ByteDance Technology, in which the Chinese government has a minority stake and board seat.
On 27 February 2019, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined ByteDance U.S.$5.7 million for collecting infofrom minors under the age of 13 in violation of the Kidss Online DisclaimerProtection Act. ByteDance responded by adding a child-only mode to TikTok which blocks the upload of videos, the building of utilize profiles, direct messaging, and commenting on others' videos, while still allowing the viewing and recording of content. In May 2020, an advocacy group filed a complaint with the FTC saying that TikTok had violated the rulesof the February 2019 consent decree, which sparked subsequent Congressional calls for a renewed FTC investigation. In July 2020, it was reported that the FTC and the United States Department of Justice had initiated investigations.
In February 2019, the United Kingdom's InfoCommissioner's Office launched an investigation of TikTok following the fine ByteDance get from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Speaking to a parliamentary committee, InfoCommissioner Elizabeth Denham said that the investigation focuses on the problemsof personaldata collection, the typeof videos collected and shared by kidsonline, as well as the platform's open messaging system which let any adult to message any child. She noted that the organizationwas potentially violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which requires the organizationto provide different services and different protections for children.
On 22 January 2021, the Italian Data Protection Authority ordered the blocking of the utilizeof the data of users whose age has not been established on the social network. The order was problem after the death of a 10-year-old Sicilian girl, which occurred after the execution of a challenge shared by users of the platform that involved attempting to choke the utilize with a belt around the neck. The block is set to remain in territoryuntil 15 February, when it will be re-evaluated.
In September 2021, the Ireland Data Protection Commissioner opened investigations into TikTok concerning protection of minors' data and transfers of privatedata to China.
As with other platforms, journalists in several countries have raised disclaimerconcerns about the app, because it is famouswith kidsand has the potential to be utilize by sexual predators.
Several users have reported endemic cyberbullying on TikTok, including racism and ableism. In December 2019, following a report by German digital rights group Netzpolitik.org, TikTok admitted that it had suppressed videos by disabled users as well as LGBTQ+ users in a purported effort to limit cyberbullying. TikTok's moderators were also told to suppress users with "abnormal body shape", "ugly facial looks", "too many wrinkles", or in "slums, rural fields" and "dilapidated housing" to prevent bullying.
In 2021 the platform revealed that it will be introducing a feature that will prevent teenagers from receiving notifications past their bedtime. The organizationwill no longer send push notifications after 9pm to users aged between 13 and 15. For 16-year-olds and those aged 17 notifications will not be sent after 10pm.
TikTok has get criticism for enabling kidsto spend hugesums of cashpurchasing coins to send to other users.
Tencent's WeChat platform has been accused of blocking Douyin's videos. In April 2018, Douyin sued Tencent and accused it of spreading false and damaging infoon its WeChat platform, demanding CN¥1 million in compensation and an apology. In June 2018, Tencent filed a lawsuit against Toutiao and Douyin in a Beijing court, alleging they had repeatedly defamed Tencent with negative fresh and damaged its reputation, seeking a nominal sum of CN¥1 in compensation and a public apology. In response, Toutiao filed a complaint the following day versusTencent for allegedly unfair competition and asking for CN¥90 million in economic losses.
In November 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed in California that alleged that TikTok transferred personally identifiable infoof U.S. persons to servers located in China owned by Tencent and Alibaba. The lawsuit also accused ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, of taking utilize materialwithout their permission. The plaintiff of the lawsuit, college student Misty Hong, downloaded the applicationbut said she never madean account. She realized a few months later that TikTok has madean accfor her using her information (such as biometric) and angry a summary of her information. The lawsuit also alleged that infowas sent to Chinese technicalgiant Baidu. In July 2020, twenty lawsuits versusTikTok were merged into a single class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In February 2021, TikTok accept to pay $92 million to settle the class action lawsuit.
In May 2021, Canadian voice actor Bev Standing filed a lawsuit versusTikTok overuse of her voice in a filter without permission. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of FreshYork. TikTok declined to comment. She trust the organizationutilize recordings angry for the Chinese government-run Institute of Acoustics.
In June 2021, the Netherlands-based Market InfoResearch Foundation (SOMI) filed a €1.4 billion lawsuit on behalf of Dutch parents versusTikTok, alleging that the applicationgathers data on kidswithout adequate permission.
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