Archive for TikTok

US Lawmakers Want To Know WTF TikTok Is Going To Do With The Biometric Data That They Plan To Collect From Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 19, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok given their recent history of alarming US lawmakers, perhaps should have seen this coming.

TikTok’s has plans to collect biometric identifiers from its users. These plans unsurprisingly have prompted concern among U.S. lawmakers, who are demanding the company reveal exactly what information it collects and what it plans to do with that data:

In a letter sent earlier this month addressed to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune, (R-SD) say they are “alarmed” by the recent change to TikTok’s privacy policy, which allows the company to “automatically collect biometric data, including certain physical and behavioral characteristics from video content posted by its users.”

TechCrunch first reported details of the new privacy policy back in June, when TikTok said it will seek “required permissions” to collect “faceprints and voiceprints” where required by law, but failed to elaborate on whether it’s considering federal law, states laws, or both (only a handful of U.S. states have biometric privacy laws, including Illinois, Washington, California, Texas and New York). Klobuchar and Thune’s letter asks TikTok to explicitly explain what constitutes a “faceprint” and “voiceprint,” as well as to explain how this data will be used and how long it will be retained. The senators also quizzed TikTok on whether any data is gathered for users under the age of 18; whether it makes any inferences about its users based on the biometric data it collects; and to provide a list of all third parties that have access to the data.

It will be interesting to see how TikTok responds to this. They really want to be in the US market. But will they back down from this idea? The would if they were smart. But maybe it’s time for Congress to simply lower the boom on TikTok to make sure that they can’t execute this plan as it really sounds “shady A.F.”

Guest Post: TikTok Introduces New LIVE Features To Promote Kindness On The App!

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 27, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok LIVE provides fun and entertaining experiences the entire family can join together. Today, TikTok announced new features for LIVEs to help ensure a positive and safe environment for Canadians creating, discovering, and viewing LIVE videos!

Keyword Filters

As LIVE provides creators the opportunity to share more of themselves with the TikTok community, our goal is to help people feel comfortable doing so, which means taking a hard stance against bullying or hateful comments. We’re mindful that some comments or words may seem innocuous to some but are hurtful to others. To protect against this, in the settings tab of the LIVE launch screen, hosts can turn off comments or add up to 200 terms into the keyword filter to limit those comments in the chat. Words can be added to the list throughout the livestream by hosts and the person helping them.

Consider Before You Comment

Once a livestream starts, we want creators to be able to focus on entertaining their viewers. Because negative or abusive comments undermine the passion and energy creators put into their livestreams, viewers will now be prompted to reconsider the impact of their words before posting a potentially unkind or harmful comment.

Help for Hosts

To help hosts focus on entertaining and engaging the community, they can now, ahead of their livestream, assign a person they trust to help them manage their streams by tapping Settings on the right side of the livestream launch screen. During the LIVE, both the host and the person helping can mute and block users to help keep the stream welcoming and civil.

In the coming weeks, TikTok will also introduce a way for hosts and the person helping manage their LIVE to temporarily mute viewers or remove unkind or harmful comments as they strive to maintain a supportive and authentic community environment. This is why TikTok has additional safeguards and policies for LIVE, including requiring accounts to be 16 or older to host a livestream. TikTok also prohibits gift-baiting (the solicitation of gifts or engagement) as well as fraudulent behavior or scams. Further, if TikTok identifies an account that impersonates or misleads our community about their identity, TikTok will remove the account from our platform.

You can also read more in TikTok’s newsroom here:

TikTok Releases Q1 2021 Community Guidelines Enforcement Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 30, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TikTok published its Q1 2021 Community Guidelines Enforcement Report to bring visibility to the critical work of moderating content in order to keep TikTok a safe and welcoming place for their community. TikTok has published their Transparency Reports since 2019, and starting with this report, insights related to the enforcement of their Community Guidelines will be published on a quarterly basis while information related to legal requests will continue to be published bi-annually.

Here are some of the key insights from the report:

  • 61,951,327 videos were removed for violating our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, which is less than 1% of all videos uploaded on TikTok.
  • 82% of these videos were removed before they received any views, 91% before any user reports, and 93% within 24 hours of being posted. 
  • 1,921,900 ads were rejected for violating advertising policies and guidelines.
  • 11,149,514 accounts were removed for violating our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, of which 7,263,952 were removed from the full TikTok experience for potentially belonging to a person under the age of 13. This is less than 1% of all accounts on TikTok. 
  • 71,470,161 accounts were blocked from being created through automated means.

TikTok has continued to expand the information they provide with each report to help the industry push forward when it comes to transparency and accountability around user safety. To bring more visibility to the actions they take to protect minors, in this report, they’ve added the number of accounts removed from the full TikTok experience for potentially belonging to an underage person. This builds upon their previous work to strengthen their default privacy settings for teens, offer tools to empower parents and families, and limit features like direct messaging and livestream to those age 16 and over.

In the future, TikTok will publish this data on their online transparency center which they’re working to overhaul to be a home for their transparency reporting and other information about their efforts to protect the safety and integrity of their platform.

For more, please visit TikTok’s newsroom blog post

And The Winner Of TikTok Gamers Greatest Talent Is… Philip Bowen From Virginia!

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 21, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok is excited to share that the winner of TikTok Gamers Greatest Talent is Philip Bowen! Philip Bowen is a multi-talented singer-songwriter/fiddler specializing in guitar and fiddle from West Virginia, currently based in Detroit.

In April, TikTok partnered with Enthusiast Gaming and e.l.f. Cosmetics to launch Gamers Greatest Talent, a first-of-its-kind search for the TikTok gaming community’s hidden talents. The seven-episode live series followed 36 contestants across North America as they show off their talents and compete in front of fans and an incredible rotating panel of celebrity judges from the gaming and TikTok world – including mxmtoon, nickeh30, anomaly, and Tori Pareno. The performance exceeded expectations and Live viewers have grown tremendously, showing that content on TikTok is innovative and has the ability to transcend into other verticals and platforms.

Gamers Greatest Talent Highlights:

  • The hashtag #gaming has over 120B views
  • 1,000+ entries to Gamers Greatest Talent
  • 10M+ viewers for the entire season
  • 15+ countries tuned in to the episodes every night
  • The finale was the 2nd most popular “Just Chatting” channel on Twitch
  • TikTok creator/musician and judge of GGT, BBNO$ will be featuring Philip on a new upcoming track!

Philip Bowen Socials:

Biden Dumps Plan To Ban TikTok… But Plans A Security Review Instead

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 9, 2021 by itnerd

Here’s the good news if you are TikTok. Biden isn’t going to ban you. Here’s the bad news. You’re getting a review along with any other app that is tied to a country that the US doesn’t like:

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday revoking the Trump-era bans on TikTok and WeChat. In place of the Trump order, Biden will direct the commerce secretary to investigate apps with ties to foreign adversaries that may pose a risk to American data privacy or national security.


Wednesday’s order calls on the Commerce Department and other federal agencies to work together to craft recommendations to protect against the collection, sale, and transfer of sensitive US consumer data to foreign adversaries. The Commerce Department is expected to then make recommendations for future executive actions or legislation to address these concerns.

But there’s a catch:

Still, the order does not address actions or investigations taken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. Under the Trump administration, CFIUS set several deadlines for apps like TikTok to divest itself from its Chinese owner ByteDance. For several months, Oracle was reportedly set to purchase TikTok in order to stave off the former administration’s ban, although the deal never came to fruition.

“The CFIUS action remains under active discussion by the US government,” a senior administration official said Wednesday.

This should be interesting to watch.

TikTok & SiriusXM Team Up Create Exclusive Audio Experiences Including A SiriusXM Music Channel

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 25, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok and SiriusXM today announced they are joining forces on the rollout of new and innovative content across each of their platforms. Creating listener experiences curated specifically for each platform’s loyal fans will allow TikTok and SiriusXM to deliver access to ground-breaking programming, exclusive performances, special events, and some of music’s top and emerging talent.

This summer, SiriusXM will launch TikTok Radio, a full-time music channel featuring the trending sounds that are redefining pop culture from TikTok. Presented by TikTok creators, tastemakers, and DJs, TikTok Radio will be available in vehicles and as a streaming channel on the SiriusXM App, desktop, and all connected devices.

Sonically synced to the TikTok experience, the channel will feel like a radio version of the platform’s “For You” page. The TikTok Radio channel will feature a diverse group of TikTok creators showcasing trending music and stories behind the songs throughout each day, as well as a weekly music countdown dedicated to TikTok’s top trending tracks. Listeners can expect to hear directly from music’s next generation of rising stars and whatever else the TikTok community is vibing to.

TikTok Introduces Green Screen Duet

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 12, 2021 by itnerd

On TikTok, our portfolio of video tools and effects power creativity and imaginative storytelling. Tools like Duet inspire chains of co-created content while creative effects like Green Screen make for immersive viewing experiences.

We’re combining the best of both worlds with the release of Green Screen Duet, a mashup of two TikTok favorites designed to inspire imaginative new formats for creativity and expression.

Existing Duet layouts include Left & Right, React, and Up & Down. Green Screen Duet is the latest layout addition to our lineup, giving users a new way to collaborate with existing content from across TikTok.

With Green Screen Duet, users will be able to use another video from TikTok as the background of a new video. As with all Duets, the creator of the Duetted video is credited in the new video’s caption with a link that directs to the original.

To use the feature, users Duet the video they’d like to use as their Green Screen background and select Green Screen from the Duet layout options. The Duetted video will play in the background of your new video as you record.

Green Screen Duet expands on both our creative effects and collaboration tools, bringing new content formats and expanded creativity to our community on TikTok.

Here are some examples of Green Screen Duet in action:


#duet with @4ocean HAD TO JUMP IN THE WATER & HELP MY FRIENDS PICK UP SOME TRASH ♻️🤙🏼 #trash #ocean

♬ ya nasty – aniah💕

#duet with @mariothemakermagician check out this #RubiksMagic @rubiksofficial #BrandAmbassador

♬ original sound – mariothemagician

TikTok Partners With Canadian Startups To Offer Creators More Tools

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok is always looking for new ways to enable self-expression, creativity, and connection among their communities. The TikTok for Developers program was launched to create innovative tools for third-party apps to integrate with TikTok and provide users more features to create and share amazing content.

Today, they’re excited to introduce the new Sound and Login Kits for TikTok, which will help third-party apps create more frictionless sharing and authentication experiences for their users – including two Canadian startups:

  • LANDR: Montreal-based audio platform integrating with the Sound Kit that will empower artists with a suite of music creation, collaboration, and distribution tools.
  • Snack: Vancouver-based dating app integrating with the Login Kit that will help you find new connections by recording the real you and scrolling through your feed instead of swiping.

In addition to these Canadian partners, the Sound and Login kits include integrations with 16 other third party apps to make it even easier for the TikTok community to express themselves and share their creativity with others. Check out this blog post for full details.

TikTok & Enthusiast Gaming Present: TikTok Gamers Got Talent!

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 27, 2021 by itnerd

If you’ve ever gone down the #gamer rabbit hole on TikTok you’ve likely seen some pretty impressive and entertaining content—or perhaps you’ve even contributed some of your own.

TikTok is partnering with Enthusiast Gaming to launch TikTok Gamers Got Talent – a search for the best and most entertaining gamer on TikTok. e.l.f. Cosmetics has also joined on as a premiere sponsor, as part of their larger “Gameup” initiative, to support women gamers.

The exclusive series will follow gaming community hopefuls as they show off their talents and compete in front of millions of fans for a chance at a grand prize of $25,000! The call for submissions opens on April 27th, when gamers can submit videos on TikTok using #TikTokGGT and upload it to

Premiering Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 7PM EST, the top 20 contestants chosen will compete in a seven-part series livestreamed on Twitch and, judged by a different celebrity panel each week made up of veteran gamers and influential TikTok creators including Chicaloserfruit,thesommerset, and toripareno from the Luminosity gaming team.

Please note that submissions are only open to residents of Canada and the United States between April 27 and May 2.

To find out more about Gamers Got Talent, and see the full list of judges, head over to the TikTok Newsroom for more details.

TikTok Sued For Billions Over Use of Children’s Data

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 22, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield over how it collects and uses children’s data:

The claim is being filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and EU who have used the hugely popular video-sharing app. If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds. TikTok said the case was without merit and it would fight it. 

Lawyers will allege that TikTok takes children’s personal information, including phone numbers, videos, exact location and biometric data, without sufficient warning, transparency or the necessary consent required by law, and without children or parents knowing what is being done with that information. The claim is being launched on behalf of all children who have used TikTok since 25 May 2018, regardless of whether they have an account or their privacy settings. Children not wishing to be represented can opt out.

In response, TikTok said:

“Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok and we have robust policies, processes and technologies in place to help protect all users, and our teenage users in particular. We believe the claims lack merit and intend to vigorously defend the action.”

This highlights the fact that TikTok still has a fair amount of perceived privacy issues. And they are quickly trending into Facebook country where I can see a scenario where #DeleteFacebook becomes #DeleteTikTok if they don’t quickly, transparently, and permanently address these issues.