Formerly known as musical.ly, TikTok was a platform where people could upload and share short videos of dancing and singing, with Lyp-Sync clips being particularly successful. A wide range of topics can now be found in the social media app, and the number of cooking, news and entertainment clips is increasing by the minute.
The comment function, which is used for a quick and direct exchange of opinions, is particularly popular. But now ARD research results have been published via this app, proving that TikTok blocks certain words in Germany.
According to research by NDR, WDR and Tagesschau, the group uses word filters for over 20 terms. This means: If the comment contains one of these words, it will not be displayed publicly.
This was the result of several tests that were carried out with test profiles. A total of 70 words and word combinations were tried.
These terms include “gas”, “heterosexuals”, “slaves” and “sex”.
The test also showed that users were not given any information as to why the comment was not displayed publicly under the videos.
So you can’t be sure whether your own comments are visible to others or not.
According to a spokeswoman, TikTok uses deployed technologies to “proactively check for comments that violate our policies or constitute spam behavior.”
So the word “heterosexual” violates the general rules of the app? “In this case, comments that didn’t violate our Community Guidelines were incorrectly flagged as potentially harmful,” the spokeswoman admits.
In order to avoid such mistakes, the employees want to improve the systems and technologies. A selected research team will have access to the moderation system API.
But even the use of word filters cannot prevent hate waves, at least TikToker Maximilian Pichlmeier thinks. “Unfortunately, hate always finds a way on such platforms.”
He deals with LGBTIQ on his profile: “If the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ occurs and I use it myself, but the other person’s comment is not displayed, no discussion can take place.”
It would map the real reality very differently and prevent a transparent exchange between people. “How are you supposed to come together when the respective reality is completely different?”
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The original of this post “ARD report: TikTok systematically blocks certain comments” comes from Teleschau.