TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Bytedance, reportedly instructed content moderators for the video-sharing app to censor videos referencing Tiananmen Square and the independence of Tibet, along with other politically sensitive topics that could offend the Chinese government.
A new report in The Guardian details some of the rules for TikTok content moderators, which Byetdance said have since been updated “to empower local teams that have a nuanced understanding of each market.”
The report by The Guardian, which follows a recent story about how TikTok was censoring videos related to the Hong Kong protests, shows how TikTok’s Chinese roots have influenced its content policing abroad. Armed with a war chest of billions of dollars in venture capital funding, Bytedance has spent aggressively to market TikTok in North America, Europe, and India. Last year, Bytedance CEO Zhang Yiming publicly apologized in China for taking “the wrong path” after the government ordered that one of the company’s apps be taken down for spreading offensive content.