Last year, TikTok employed a two-tier moderation system that gave preferential treatment to its most popular users, according to Forbes. The outlet obtained an audio recording of a September 2021 meeting in which the company detailed an internal feature called “creator tags” that was reserved for accounts with more than 5 million followers. When it came to moderating those users, many of them influencers and celebrities, TikTok reportedly filtered them through a separate moderation queue which saw the company treat those accounts differently.
“We don’t want to treat these users like, um, like any other account. There’s a little more leniency, I’d say,” a TikTok Trust & Safety employee said during the meeting, according to Forbes. On its website, the company declares its Community Principles apply to “everyone and everything on TikTok”.
TikTok did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. said a company spokesman Forbes is not “more lenient in moderating accounts with more than 5 million followers”, adding that it does not have moderation queues based on the number of followers.
If the report is accurate, TikTok would not be the first company to treat its most influential and powerful users differently. In 2021, The Wall Street Journal detailed how Meta’s XCheck system had allowed millions of high-profile Facebook and Instagram users to circumvent its rules. In one incident described in the report, the system “blocked” Facebook moderators from removing nude photos Brazilian soccer star Neymar posted of a woman who had accused him of sexual assault. The post was viewed more than 60 million times before Meta took action. In addition, the company did not ban Nyemar’s account, even though he shared non-consensual nudity in violation of his rights. Community Principles.
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