TikTok to be in congressional hotseat over school-trashing content

Codi Saxon

The TikTok emblem is pictured exterior the company’s U.S. head office in Culver Metropolis, California, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Image WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – TikTok will face thoughts about articles that may perhaps have led little ones and teenagers to steal from or vandalize college loos and […]

The TikTok emblem is pictured exterior the company’s U.S. head office in Culver Metropolis, California, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Image

WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – TikTok will face thoughts about articles that may perhaps have led little ones and teenagers to steal from or vandalize college loos and other services when it and other large social media organizations appear ahead of Congress on Tuesday.

In placing a listening to centered on TikTok, Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube and Snapchat (SNAP.N), the Senate Commerce Committee mentioned the preferred applications have “been misused to hurt kids and encourage harmful functions, these as vandalism in educational institutions, deadly viral difficulties, bullying, feeding on issues, manipulative influencer marketing and advertising, and grooming.”

In his prepared testimony, reviewed by Reuters in advance of the hearing, Michael Beckerman, head of community plan for the Americas at TikTok, explained that the company’s moderation teams get the job done to promptly choose down any these types of material recognised as “devious licks.”

The “devious licks” craze on TikTok pushed learners to steal from educational institutions or vandalize them.

“We a short while ago observed articles similar to ‘devious licks’ achieve traction on TikTok and other platforms,” Beckerman’s testimony says. “Our moderation groups labored swiftly to remove this content material and redirect hashtags and research

outcomes… to discourage these types of conduct.”

Beckerman added TikTok “issued specialised steering to our teams on this violative written content and proactively detected and taken out articles, which includes videos, hashtags, and audio related with the craze,” such as on the lookout for spelling variants most likely employed to elude moderators, he mentioned.

Snap Inc’s Jennifer Stout, vice president of worldwide public coverage, claimed in geared up testimony that Snapchat is not designed for information to go viral and is as a substitute centered on conversations among friends. Professionally developed media written content and sure tales that are spotlighted on the app are all vetted by human moderators.

YouTube’s Leslie Miller, a vice president of community affairs, was predicted to assert the business strives to stimulate nutritious practices, and to make sure that youngsters see only age-suitable materials. The business has been accused of remaining a treasure trove of misinformation on everything from politics to coronavirus vaccinations.

The hearing is the newest portion of a lengthy inquiry into what lawmakers from both get-togethers see as Large Tech’s progressively detrimental affect on levels of competition, culture and small children.

Reporting by Diane Bartz, Sheila Dang and David Shepardson Enhancing by Howard Goller

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Have confidence in Concepts.

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