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February 15, 2022 T&S Newsletter

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T&S Early Warning News

Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.

TikTok to keep Cambodians safe online with ‘never-ending’ safety processes

Phonmpenhpost | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Tiktok

TikTok, the short-form video platform with a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy, is reaffirming a commitment to keeping Cambodian TikTok users safe online. Measures range from constant updates and analysis, to safety procedures and guidelines.

An essential role of the TikTok team is to identify and analyse content to continuously improve the accuracy of the content moderation processes.

This applies to Cambodian content as it does for content from around the world.

For example, if a video is becoming popular, it may be reviewed again by TikTok’s systems to reduce the potential that violating content remains on TikTok.

TikTok also analyses content moderation decisions to understand why violating content may not have been caught at an earlier stage, and to identify trends of violating content on the platform.

For example, TikTok might learn that more work is needed to develop technology to automatically detect certain types of potential violations.

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TikTok can bypass Apple and Google security on phone and access full user data, researchers say

IndiaToday | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

Cybersecurity researchers have time and again raised red flags on the data collection practices followed by TikTok. Despite its continuously surging popularity, the short video app has often been blamed for infringing user privacy through its methods. Reiterating the same, a new report now mentions that the app is even able to bypass the security protocols put in place by the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Yet another expert told the publication that the app conceals its inner workings more than other social media networks and it is thus difficult to know the extent to which it can mine data from a device. It then becomes a question of trust, as even if the app is not doing anything bad today, does not mean it is not able to do so.

As mentioned in the report, the two studies found that TikTok’s source code uses device IDs that identify an individual device for ad integration. Once it shares this ID with advertisers, they are able to track people over time "across devices and installs."

The researchers also discovered that the app "essentially acts like a web browser." It uses a special JavaScript bridge that retrieves the app from TikTok’s servers as and when it is launched on a phone. In theory, this allows the TikTok app to change its behaviour dynamically, without pushing an update to users.

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An au pair is under investigation after she posted viral videos of kids on TikTok

PHL | Feb 14, 2022

Company Listed; TikTok

A Dauphin County family says they had no idea their au pair was a TikTok influencer and later discovered she was posting pictures of their kids on social media.

“I can’t even tell you what I just discovered like I’m appalled,” Heidi said.

“What we are not ok with is the lack of consent,” Pradeep said.

Heidi and Pradeep have welcomed several au pairs into their home to help care for their two young kids. They were working with California-based agency AuPairCare. It runs a cultural exchange program that connects international au pairs with American families. The au pairs provide live-in child care and receive a stipend. In their free time, they get to experience American culture.

“After three good experiences maybe we let our guard down a little bit and this was the result of that,” Pradeep said.

They say three months after their 4th au pair came to their home she suddenly told them it was time for her to move on to another family. After she left, Heidi recalled the au pair talking about a TikTok account she had and she looked it up.

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Moderator Sues TikTok Over PTSD From Watching Horrific Videos All Day

The Daily Beast | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

A TikTok moderator has sued the social media juggernaut, alleging that she developed PTSD while screening videos. As a moderator, it was Candie Frazier’s job to review content flagged as potentially inappropriate and determine whether or not it violates TikTok’s policies. In this position, as outlined in court documents, Frazier was required to watch videos that included beheadings, genocides, murders, child sex abuse, and animal abuse 12 hours every day. As reported by the Miami Herald, the lawsuit claims, “Plaintiff has trouble sleeping and when she does sleep, she has horrific nightmares. She often lays awake at night trying to go to sleep, replaying videos that she has seen in her mind.” Frazier alleges that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance Inc., provide its screeners limited breaks and very few, if any, mental health support resources. Frazier also claims that when she spoke out about the conditions of the job, she was immediately fired. Per the Herald, TikTok claims that it “strive(s) to promote a caring working environment for our employees and contractors.”

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Gen Z using TikTok and Instagram to understand and document tensions between Russia and Ukraine

ABC News | Feb 14, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Instagram

Members of Generation Z are turning to TikTok and Instagram to discuss the rising tension between Russia and Ukraine, with some appealing to a leader they call "Vladdy Daddy" to refrain from starting a war. TikTok videos have also become a source for researchers tracking Russia's build-up of more than 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, though Moscow denies Western accusations that it is planning to invade its neighbour.

Social media users have left thousands of comments on Instagram posts from unofficial Russian President Vladimir Putin accounts in recent weeks.

A Meta Platforms spokesperson said they were not aware that Mr Putin had any official presence on Facebook or Instagram.

The nickname "Vladdy Daddy" became popular on the internet around 2016, according to meme database Know Your Meme. Generation Z, considered by researchers to be people born from the late 1990s to the early 2010s, includes Hanka, a 12-year-old in Slovakia who learned of the meme through TikTok and posted "Vladdy daddy please no war …" in the comments on one of the accounts.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.

Compare and review T&S Policies for dozens of companies here

Texas sues Meta's Facebook over facial-recognition practices

Reuters | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Meta Facebook

The Texas attorney general's office sued Meta's (FB.O) Facebook on Monday, alleging that the social media giant violated state privacy protections with facial-recognition technology that collected the biometric data of millions of Texans without their consent.

The lawsuit accuses Facebook of capturing biometric information from photos and videos that users uploaded without consent, disclosing the information to others and failing to destroy it within a reasonable time.

This is yet another example of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices and it must stop. I will continue to fight for Texans' privacy and security," Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

The lawsuit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which cited a person familiar with the matter as saying that the state was seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in civil penalties.

Asked about the lawsuit, a Meta spokesperson said: "These claims are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

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T&S Good News

Some of the good news in the T&S industry that leaders want to know

Facebook Again Efforts To Make Social Media Safe From Anti-Vaccine Groups

VOI | Feb 14 2022

Company Listed: Facebook Meta

Facebook, one of the social media that is often a hotbed for anti-vaccines, has again taken action, by cleaning up groups and pages containing these groups.

It started when anti-vaccine groups in the United States (US) tried to stage a disruptive Canadian "Freedom Convoy". And try to fill social media pages with their influence.