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TikTok Invites U.K. Lawmakers to Review Content Moderation Over Ties to Beijing

By Ding Yi / Nov 09, 2020 04:23 PM / World

TikTok’s U.K. branch has invited local lawmakers to review its algorithm and how it moderates content in an attempt to earn the trust of British policymakers who believe Beijing exerts influence on the short video app’s content moderation process, according to a report by CNBC.

The move came after a member of parliament Nusrat Ghani voiced concerns over the potential of TikTok or its Chinese parent company ByteDance blocking or deleting content at Beijing’s request.

In a parliamentary committee video call, Elizabeth Kanter, TikTok’s U.K. director of government relations and public policy, said that the app changed its policy at least a year ago by allowing content critical of China to appear on its platform, CNBC reported.

Kanter went on to say that TikTok’s corporate structure gives the company neither responsibility to share data with the Chinese government, nor requires it to hand over data if Beijing asks, according to the report.

Kanter’s remarks mark a renewed effort by TikTok to ease foreign lawmakers’ concerns about the Chinese app’s handling of user data and whether it follows Beijing’s order to censor content.

In May, TikTok launched a content moderation transparency center in its Los Angeles office to give external experts a peek at how it reviews content uploaded onto its platform and how concerns of users and creators are processed.

The app is now forced to sell its U.S. assets to a local company after being labeled as a national security threat by the Trump administration.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: TikTok Pursues ‘User Personality’ with SME Partnership


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