An audio clip of TikTok’s internal meetings during the fall of 2021 has just leaked. And it turns out the platform used a two-tier moderation system that gives preferential treatment to influencers, celebrities, and other VIPs. Indeed, TikTok has used hold files to prioritize and protect posts from people with more than 5 million followers when they violate the platform’s content rules.

A TikTok employee argued that a famous person can post content just like a normal person except that if both post inappropriate things, only the celebrity’s post will not be blocked. Which is really contradictory to what the company’s website says. This one says the rules apply to everyone on TikTok.

Credit: 123RF

Some content creators are privileged

Internally, TikTok uses a feature called “creator tags” which is restricted to accounts with more than 5 million followers. In the audio recording, we can hear a member of TikTok’s Trust & Safety team say, ” We don’t want to treat these users like, uh, like any other account. There’s a little more leniency, I’d say “.

In response to the uproar this audio caused, the company’s spokesperson told Forbes that TikTok was “not no more lenient in moderating accounts with over 5 million subscribers “. He even insisted that he didn’t have moderation queues based on the number of subscribers.

This is a common practice among major platforms.

In 2021, The Wall Street Journal detailed how Meta’s SCheck system allowed millions of high profile Facebook and Instagram users to circumvent its rules. The report highlights that in one incident, the system blocked Facebook moderators from deleting images of a naked woman posted by Neymar.

It seems that this woman accused him of sexual assault. What did Meta do? Nothing ! The post was viewed over 60 million times before the platform took action. And the footballer’s account was not deleted despite not following Meta’s policy.


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