Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Nov. 26, 2019 3 min read

TikTok reportedly suspended @x_feroza after she posted this clip about China's treatment of the Uyghurs. It went viral on the platform, and across Twitter with the watermark.

Here is confirmation of the suspension from the TikTok interface.

She claims it was clarified to a one month Community Guidelines suspension; I assume more information had been sent via email.

It's worth noting that these activist TikToks, even when obvious at the surface-level, exist all across the platform. TikTok has the power to choose which remain & gain distribution, and in this other instance, it wasn't a postive story. Why?

The big & beautiful TikTok watermark. Similarly to how videos in Kashmir & India have been shared, these layered-reposts from screen-captures make these videos more difficult to remove; but they also add a username trail for the platform to pull the source

As of 8:44 EST the account is live again. A murky claim here, that TikTok should produce evidence to support.

Note that TikTok’s takedown claim centered on multiple violations, according to the uploader. If what their statement says is true, why is the account live again? What were the other guideline strikes?

"The source declined to explain what exactly the bin Laden video showed... [The source added] that the timing of the suspension message and the anti-China videos was a coincidence." Historical figures, under no context, are TikTok friendly?🤔 https://www.businessinsider.com/china-uighur-protest-tiktok-suspend-feroza-aziz-2019-11 

I am to believe a 'technical error' appeared 10 days after a user and device was blacklisted from TikTok, at the exact same time as a 'sensitive post' was going viral? Her current account was created on 11-15. A moderator was evidently involved in this.  https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50559656 

"She received the ban notice because of a technical error in which suspended users who open new accounts do not immediately have their devices blocked, the source said, adding that the timing of the suspension message and the anti-China videos was a coincidence."

Here is that TikTok video that ByteDance claimed promotes terrorism. It is so evidently a meme, founded in a girl expressing herself about her ethnicity & muslim identity in America. They fumbled this so hard, lied about it, & mischaracterized this girl.  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/teen-tik-tok-china-osama-bin-laden 

Imagine being so weak at a $75B valuation that you have to throw a memeing 17 yo under the bus by declaring her sympathetic to & a promoter of terrorism across major news outlets. They made a mistake & won't acknowledge it because it confirms the moderation bias we've speculated.

sorry i can't hear your bullshit grasping-at-straws statements over some of this quality content that your moderators missed

maybe listen to the memers if you don't want to be the first internet property to be barred from the U.S. market?

A MAJOR UPDATE to this story: TikTok pulled the video again just minutes ago.

How will TikTok slander a 17 y/o girl in their statements today?

Its back up AGAIN! Have never seen a Beijing power struggle so palpable.

Since TikTok is also under investigation by CFIUS, it is a great time to read this fantastic reporting on Grindr and the power struggle that ensued following an acqusition by a Chinese company. Parallels are happening in TikTok's U.S. offices right now.  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/grindr-chinese-owner-company-chaos 

Many of us were very worried by the threats presented by the foreign ownership of a platform like Grindr. Thankfully the Treasury was too, following a natsec review. But what that reporting detailed was so much worse than any of our speculations. What will we learn about TikTok?

To those U.S. based TikTok employees that stand for more than money, please continue blowing the whistle. We appreciate you, and your values.

The first confirmation I have seen of human involvement. My question: in which country was that human based?The 10,000 moderators ByteDance has touted are almost certainly in China. Was the AI model also trained in China? The same ML dataset as Douyin?

The last 3 years of reporting surrounding social media has changed the landscape forever. Facebook's playbook doesn't work anymore. Now you have to earn our trust — and with each systemic failure, ByteDance is losing that that opportunity by the day.

Optimistically, a biased moderator in China took retaliation against this user. Realistically? A 'human moderation error' for ByteDance refers to an internal multi-continent power struggle founded in a fear of retaliation from the Cyberspace Admin of China  https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/11/27/tiktok-admits-error-after-penalizing-year-old-user-who-posted-political-videos/ 

You can follow @_DanielSinclair.


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