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As the threat of a Coronavirus quarantine looms and as people practice social distancing, content creators have turned to TikTok to pass the time. The social media platform is super simple in theory but allegedly it’s impossible to get likes and that coveted viral video fame—if your looks and your surroundings aren’t up to par.

The Intercept claims that the creators of TikTok are purposely hiding content from people they deem “ugly” and “poor.” To be more specific, Intercept found leaked documents showing that moderators were told to hide “beer bellies, rural poverty, slums, and crooked smiles” from the app’s “For You” section. TikTok moderators allegedly went as far as restricting content from those with blemishes inside their houses in the docs reportedly written in 2019.

“One document goes so far as to instruct moderators to scan uploads for cracked walls and “disreputable decorations” in users’ own homes — then to effectively punish these poorer TikTok users by artificially narrowing their audiences.”

TikTok also reportedly restricted political speech and thought that uploads by unattractive users could “decrease the short-term new user retention rate.”

TikTok isn’t fully denying that their ban on all around unattractiveness happened, instead, TikTok spokesperson Josh Gartner told The Intercept that “most of” the livestream guidelines reviewed by The Intercept “are either no longer in use, or in some cases appear to never have been in place,” but would not provide specifics.

Regarding the policy of suppressing videos featuring unattractive, disabled, or poor users, Gartner stated that the rules “represented an early blunt attempt at preventing bullying, but are no longer in place, and were already out of use when The Intercept obtained them.”

Messy, messy, messy.

There’s lots more to unpack here, like TikTok allegedly hiding content from users with “wrinkles, eye disorders, and dwarfism.”  Mind you, there are people like Lizzo who’ve outright claimed that TikTok’s mysteriously taken down their content so questions about the platform’s censorship have been looming.

You can read up on more of TikTok’s alleged “no uglies” ban HERE.

 

Do YOU have a TikTok??? Do YOU think they’re purposely hiding content???

 

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