TikTok has been one of the most popular and downloaded apps for several years in a row, with over 1 billion users. It is available in over 150 countries. TikTok's main audience is teenagers – 41% of the platform's users are between 16 and 24 years old.
The creators of the social network do not want to change anything. They call TikTok a genuinely joyful experience and promise users a positive, creative, and refreshing platform with no big news and just fun videos.
But the TikTok team sometimes goes too far in pursuit of this goal.
Many blogs have repeatedly published terms for the moderators of the social media platform. For example, a German blog issued a TikTok policy stating that some videos should be deleted or shown only to the creators themselves and not to other users. Moderators, for example, are asked to hide videos taken by people with disabilities. This is how TikTok allegedly tries to avoid bullying.
A British newspaper once wrote that Turkish moderators of TikTok did not publish or hid videos filmed by LGBT users, as well as videos about Kurdish separatism in Iran or with criticism of President Recep Erdogan.
It was also reported that TikTok's policy generally prohibits criticism of the Chinese authorities, discussion of the independence of Tibet, and the events in Tiananmen in 1989, not only for Chinese but also for foreign users.
TikTok was especially criticized after the video-sharing platform deleted the profile of 17-year-old American Feroza Aziz. In one of the videos, she explained how to curl her eyelashes and talked about the Uyghurs' oppression in China. The girl's profile was restored after the world media wrote about this incident. TikTok explained that they blocked Aziz's profile because of other accounts belonging to the girl, in which she violated the rules of using the platform.
TikTok's management denies censorship charges and adds that many of the manuals for moderators that leaked to the press are outdated, and they were created primarily to maintain the frivolous and cheerful atmosphere of the social network.
TikTok states that they will never be a platform for serious formats and news. But whether they like it or not, TikTok has a lot of social content, which their main audience, teenagers, creates.
For example, in the United States, students used TikTok to explain socialism and promote Bernie Sanders's campaign.