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"Reduce the connection to China": the message page of Tiktok employees is exposed Israel today


Leaked documents reveal that the popular app thinks its biggest problems lie in the fact that it is Chinese • The company's employees were instructed to obscure the connection to the mother country in interviews, to reassure customers in the West

Leaked internal documents from TikTok reveal exactly what the Chinese network powerhouse wants us to know about it - and what we don't.

In one sentence: she doesn't really want us to know, well, that she's Chinese.

TikTok is owned by the international Internet technology company Bytedance, which is headquartered in Beijing.

Over the years, Bitdance, which owns several subsidiaries in the media sector, has been accused of censoring and removing content at the request of China's ruling Communist Party.

There have also been claims that the company collects information on minors who use Tiktok (who are actually a significant portion, if not the majority) of its users, and the company was even fined for this in the US. In fact, Tiktok does not want to be associated with China in order to reassure customers in the West.

Does Tiktok serve the regime?

Chinese President Xi Jinping, photo: AP

What to talk about and what not

The leaked documents that came into the hands of the trusted technology site Gizmodo deal with marketing and public relations, and actually outline the main messages that the company's employees must convey when they talk to the media - in interviews and press conferences, but also in investigations by government and regulatory authorities.

Among those messages you can find instructions such as "reduce and obscure the connection to Bytedance and China" / "to emphasize that Tiktok is an international company that is adapted to each country separately, and does not even operate in China" (which is not exactly true, since Tiktok is called Douyin in China).

In addition to this, the interviewees on behalf of the company are asked not to talk about the artificial intelligence and the algorithms on which Tiktok is based (in order to, apparently, gather information about the users and present them with relevant content).

"We are international": Tiktok, photo: AFP

Regarding minors, the interviewees were instructed to say things along the lines of "Although young people love Tiktok very much, the application is intended for use by 13-year-olds and older" / "We do appeal to young people, but not to children" / and "Most of our users are between the ages of 16-25".

More on the main highlights: "TikTok has never shared and will never share information with the Chinese government, even if we are asked to do so."

Also, in the event that a person on behalf of the company is asked directly about the relationship between Tiktok and Bytedance, he must convey a message along the lines of "Bytedance is the holding company of Tiktok. Tiktok employees cannot respond on behalf of Bytedance, and should contact Bytedance itself."  

TikTok has not yet responded to Gizmodo's questions about the document files, which were created in March 2020 and were last edited in August 2021. It should be noted that the screens have not been fully disclosed by the site and are not available for review online, since in addition to being in English, they are written in another language, and Gizmodo clarified that the disclosure of this language could endanger the their source.

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Source: israelhayom

All tech articles on 2022-07-27

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